PIXE (Particle Induced X-ray Emission)

Using PIXE and analyzing the x-rays, the user can identify most of the elements found in the sample.

Accelerated ions, usually helium or hydrogen, are sent into a user’s test sample. The moving particles impact and displace electrons within the sample. When these missing electrons are replaced within an atom, a characteristic X-ray is emitted. By catching and analyzing the x-rays, the user can identify most of the elements found in the sample. While it is possible to obtain the absolute concentrations of the elements, most uses within this laboratory are for generalized identification of elements.

PIXE can be measured simultaneously with RBS on the 45 beamline and on the Microbeam line. Users frequently use PIXE (and RBS) with the scanned microbeam to map the surface location and concentrations of elements.