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X-ray fluorescence for cultural heritage: scanning biochemical fingerprints in archaeological shipwrecks
Yvonne Fors, Håkan Grudd, Anders Rindby and Lennart Bornmalm tell us about “X-ray fluorescence for cultural heritage: scanning biochemical fingerprints in archaeological shipwrecks”. Two outstanding examples of the preservation of wood are the warships Vasa, in Stockholm and the Mary Rose in Portsmouth and this article looks at the role XRF has played in the preservation of the wood of both ships.
Rigaku has released the Rigaku SmartSite RS portable stress analyser, designed for on-site analysis.
Another area of application of XRF, “Determination of elemental distribution or heterogeneity by X-ray fluorescence”, is considered by Christopher Shaffer and Didier Bonvin. The ability of modern X-ray spectrometers to perform small spot analysis as well as mapping has opened up new applications in non-homogeneous samples. The authors show applications in metals, precious alloys as well as rocks.
Knowledge about the particles in the air is important because of their effect on our health and their impact on our climate through cloud formation and transport of nutrients into the oceans. Ursula Fittschen describes “Strategies for ambient aerosols characterisation using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence: a review”. This technique can provide elemental determination and speciation of aerosol particulates with limits of detection in the pg m–3 range for many elements.
Determination of trace element concentrations in ambient aerosols by synchrotron radiation-induced X-ray fluorescence spectrometry
Both the size and chemical composition of airborne particles have an effect on human health. Whilst the effects of size have been much studied, many of the toxic chemicals in particles are at very low concentration and have been less studied. Monitoring their composition and concentration over time helps to determine their source. Synchrotron radiation-induced XRF spectrometry proves to be a good tool for this purpose.
How a cat manages to turn and land on its feet may not be the most obvious start to an article in Spectroscopy Europe. However, C.J. Milne and M. Chergui use the example in their article on “Time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy” to show how the time dimension is important in many analyses and applications. There has been a real surge in time-resolved X-ray absorption studies in chemistry, biology and materials science. Picosecond time resolution is routinely achieved and femtosecond resolution has been demonstrated at synchrotrons, albeit at the cost of a significantly reduced photon flux. However, the advent of hard X-ray-free electron lasers offer the promise of making such studies routine.
An important use of Raman spectroscopy to help understand the impact of traffic on roadside soils and plants
Even though lead in fuel has been banned for a number of years, it is still present in by the roadside, as are many other pollutants from vehicles. The combination of Raman spectroscopy and µ-ED-XRF is of particular value. The advantage Raman has is in the possibility of focusing on individual grains, thereby obtaining the spectrum of each grain that comes from traffic-emitted particles.
The study of dust particles in our atmosphere is important since they can act as a suppresor of global warming. The analysis of historical levels of dust in the atmosphere through ice cores is vital in this work. Synchrotron-radiation spectroscopic techniques such as TXRF and XANES can be used to analyse extremely small amounts of dust.
Whilst fireworks are a great entertainment, they can also be used for illegal activities as well as potentially containing dangerous chemicals. The combination of Raman spectroscopy and SEM-EDS turns out to be a very efficient analytical method. In fact, these complementary techniques may also be used to analyse other kinds of pyrotechnic artefacts, low explosive formulations, high explosives, explosion residues etc.
Next generation hand-held energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer in a smaller, lightweight package offering improved analytical performance. Designed for high-throughput elemental testing and spectrochemical analysis of a wide range of metals.
An X-ray coating analysis software module for the Orbis line of micro-XRF analysers, enabling them to provide simultaneous multi-layer film thickness and composition analyses for metal, oxide, nitride and carbide coatings as well as coatings that contain elements within the observable range of the Orbis system.
The latest addition to this series has been optimised for the analysis of medium and heavy elements and was designed specifically for laboratories conducting environmental, geological and waste disposal analysis. It features a flexible excitation source, has a stable end-window tube with a power of only 50 W, a target changer with up to eight polarisation and secondary targets and is equipped with a large area SDD detector.
A low-cost benchtop energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer with variable analysis spot size which delivers rapid quantitative determination of sodium to uranium in solids, liquids, powders and thin films which has been specifically designed to serve the RoHS and jewellery markets.
Next generation of Amptek’s Silicon Drift Detector (SDD). The noise corner of the new detector is at 1 µs peaking time vs >10 µs for the standard unit, providing ×10 the throughput with no loss of resolution.
Industrial environments pose potentially hazardous situations whereby workers may be exposed to various airborne toxic elements in their breathing zone. One of the main aerosol fractions of interest is welding fume, which can be determined with XRF spectrometry.
For the past 30 years, one of the most valuable and widely used techniques for studying electronic structures has been Angle-Resolved PhotoEmission Spectroscopy (ARPES). However, this technique primarily looks at surfaces. Now, for the first time, bulk electronic structures have been opened to comparable scrutiny through a new variation of this standard called Hard x-ray Angle-Resolved PhotoEmission Spectroscopy (HARPES).