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3D Micro-XRF Principle


In recent years a big part of our research activities, in terms of quantification models, and in terms of new fields of application, has been focussed on a new spectroscopic technique: three-dimensional 3D Micro-XRF. Apart from the implementation of a suitable X-ray optical scheme this technique requires substantial research efforts on fundamental X-ray beam interactions. These, in turn, are the basis for quantification models, turning the method into a scientific tool.

The excitation radiation is focussed by a polycapillary lens (depending on the x-ray source either a full- or a half lens) onto a target. The X-rays excite atoms in the sample, thus emitting characteristic radiation. This radiation is then transported with the help of another polycapillary (half-)lens onto an energy-dispersive detector. The foci of the two optics in the excitation and detection channel overlap and form the probing volume, which is characteristic for the setup. By moving the sample into this probing volume a 3D image of the sample's elemental distribution can be obtained.

3D Micro-XRF at BESSY

3D micro-XRF setup at BESSY II

The 3D Micro-XRF set-up was first built up at the BAMline located at a 7T wavelength shifter at BESSY II. Due to the support of the BMBF (Bundesministerium fur Bildung und Forschung) a permanent confocal setup could be established at the new µSpot- beamline at BESSY II. Since summer 2006 the experimental station is open for external users. For 3D Micro-XRF applications we still support users. A quantification model for 3D Micro-XRF depth profiles with a synchrotron radiation source has been developed by our research group (link: Paper). The quantification methodology has been applied to solve different analytical questions, from the field of archaeometry, see applications, but also through to the use of cryo-fixation for example for questions from life sciences.

3D Micro-XRF in the laboratory

3D Micro-XRF lab spectrometer. © AG Kanngießer

BLiX 3D Micro-XRF laboratory spectrometer: 1) measuring head with the two polycapillary optics, 2) X-ray tube, 3) SDD, 4) camera with microscope, 5) sample housing.

3D micro XRF mapping

3D micro XRF-mapping of a USB stick

3D Micro-XRF mapping of a USB stick. The animated picture shows the 80 virtual layers through the sample. A quantification model model for the reconstruction of depth profiles on unknown samples with 3D Micro-XRF with polychromatic excitation (e.g.: x-ray tube) was developed by our research group based on the concept of an effective probing volume size.    


Point of contact: Ioanna Mantouvalou

relevant publications:

Wolfgang Malzer and Birgit Kanngießer, Spectrochimica Acta B 60 /9-10, 1334-1341 (2005).

I. Mantouvalou, W. Malzer, I. Schaumann, L. Lühl, R. Dargel, C. Vogt, and B. Kanngießer, Anal. Chem. 80, 819-826, (2008)

I. Mantouvalou, T. Wolff, C. Seim, V. Stoytschew, W. Malzer, and B. Kanngießer, Anal. Chem., 86 (19), 9774-9780 (2014)

T. Lachmann, G. van der Snickt, M. Haschke, and I. Mantouvalou, J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 31, 1989-1997 (2016)



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