Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Temperature Control Improves NIST X-ray Detector

Date:
August 21, 2005
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed an improved experimental X-ray detector that could pave the way to a new generation of wide-range, high-resolution trace chemical analysis instruments.

Research physicist Terrence Jach prepares to analyze a sample with the NIST X-ray microcalorimeter. Improved temperature sensing and control systems allow the instrument within the gold chamber to the right to detect X-rays characteristic of specific elements over a broad range of energies with higher resolution.
Credit: Photo credit: Gail Porter/NIST

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed an improved experimental X-ray detector that could pave the way to a new generation of wide-range, high-resolution trace chemical analysis instruments. In a recently published technical paper*, the researchers described how they used improved temperature-sensing and control systems to detect X-rays across a very broad range of energies (6 keV or more), with pinpoint energy resolution (an uncertainty of only 2 eV).

The detector's ability to distinguish between X-rays with very similar energies should be especially useful to the semiconductor industry for chemical analysis of microscopic circuit features or contaminants. Many types of high-resolution microscopes routinely used in the industry and throughout science produce detailed chemical maps by scanning a surface with electrons and then analyzing the X-rays emitted, which are characteristic of specific elements.

The NIST device, an improved version of its previous microcalorimeter X-ray detector, uses a quantum-level, transition edge sensor (TES). NIST has led development of these sensors for several years. A TES works by measuring the current across a thin metal film that is held just at the knife-edge transition temperature between a superconducting state and normal conductance. A single X-ray photon striking the detector raises the temperature enough to alter the current proportional to the energy of the photon.

TES microcalorimeters offer an unequaled combination of high resolution with detection of a broad energy range, allowing identification of many different chemical elements simultaneously. The two kinds of detectors conventionally used in X-ray microanalysis typically have a resolution of no better than 130 eV, or have a high resolution but only for a very narrow range of energies. TES sensors, however, must be kept at very low temperatures (about 97 millikelvin) for hours at a stretch to collect trace-level data. Tiny changes in temperature would cause previous versions of the instrument to "drift" over time, requiring constant recalibrations. The improved temperature control system for the new detector eliminates this problem, making the system much more practical for a broad range of applications.

###

*T. Jach, J.A. Small and D.E. Newbury. Improving energy stability in the National Institute of Standards and Technology microcalorimeter X-ray detector. Powder Diffraction v. 20, No. 2, June 2005.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Temperature Control Improves NIST X-ray Detector." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727062013.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (2005, August 21). Temperature Control Improves NIST X-ray Detector. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727062013.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Temperature Control Improves NIST X-ray Detector." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727062013.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins