Scanning Microscopy


High energy protons of energies between 30 and 60 MeV are particularly valuable in particle induced X-ray analysis of elements in the rare earth region and above. Transmission samples of thickness up to 100 μm can be used, and damage to both biological and mineral samples is minimal. Detection limits are estimated, and the use of Fourier transformation techniques in the analysis of data is discussed in some detail. The quality of the raw data from mineralogical and biological experiments is such as to permit immediate identification of all elements above Germanium present at the part per million level or above in a sample. Particle induced K X-ray spectra from Au ore, sperrylite, rutheniridosmine and autonite are shown, indicating that all elements from As to U are readily identified when K X-rays are generated by protons of appropriately high energy.

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