AG Hofsäss - II- Institute of Physics

PIXE element analysis

We offer elemental analysis of various samples using proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) The method is essentially non-destructive and does not require any sample preparation,except cleaning. We use a 2.5 MeV proton beam of 1mm diameter, which is extracted into air or Helium atmosphere. Samples and objects of almost any size can be placed in the beam and the recorded X-ray spectra reveal the elemental composition for al elements heavier than Mg with a sensitivity often in the range of ppm.
The analysis time is typically 1-2 minutes. Typical samples are multicomponent materials, archeological artefacts, minerals, environmental samples, jewellery, paintings, china ware etc.

PIXE English dessert plate
PIXE measurement of an dessert plate of Engish origin. The laser points to the blue ornaments which will be analyzed. depending on the composition of the blue color (ultramarine blue, Royal Saxon blue or flow blue (azurite) or Zaffres blue (colbaltoxide), the plate can be dated to be made before 1860, before 1894 or after 1894. The analysis of the trnsparent glaze shows lead oxide as one main component.

PIXE dessert plate
PIXE spectrum of the blue color and the transparent glaze of above dessert plate. The cobalt X-rays appear at about 7 keV and the Pb X-rays between 10 and 15 keV energy.