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Small X-Ray Tubes for Energy Dispersive Analysis Using Semiconductor Spectrometers

  • J. M. Jaklevic (a1), R. D. Giauque (a1), D. F. Malone (a1) and W. L. Searles (a1)


Fast X-ray fluorescence analysis with radioisotope excitation requires intense sources to produce reasonable counting rates. The inconvenience of handling such sources and the small number of suitable radioisotopes places severe limitations on their use.

We have explored the possibility of using low-power X-ray tubes as exciting sources for energy-dispersive fluorescence analysis. The principal advantage to X-ray tubes is the ability to produce X-ray fluxes to three orders of magnitude higher than those obtained with convenient radioisotope sources while dissipating only a few watts in the tube. Furthermore, the variety of possible anode materials and range of currents in the tube make possible optimum choice of exciting energy and intensity for particular applications.

We have designed and tested such tubes in a variety of anode configurations suitable for fluorescence excitation. Using either X-ray filtering techniques or multiple fluorescence geometries It is possible to significantly reduce the Bremsstrahlung background relative to characteristic radiation.

As compared with normal radioisotope-target assemblies, excitation of a sample by the X-ray tube results in comparable sensitivity in only a tenth to one hundredth of the time.



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2. Green, M. and Cosslett, V. E., “The Efficiency of Production of Characteristic X-Radiation in Thick Targets of a Pure Element”, Proc. Phys. Soc. (London) 78 (1961) 1206.
3. Goulding, F. S. Jaklevic, J. M., Jarrett, B. V. and Landis, D. A., “Detector Background and Sensitivity of X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometers”, to be presented at the 20th Annual Denver X-ray Conference, August 11-13 1971 LBL-9 Lawrence Berkeley Lab.
4. Landis, D. A., Goulding, F. S. and Pehl, R. H., “Pulsed Feedback Techniques for Semiconductor Detector Radiation Spectrometers”, IEEE Trans. Nuc. Sci., NS-18, No. 1 (1971) pg. 115124.
5. Giauque, R. D. and Jaklevic, J. M., “Rapid Quantitative Analysis by X-Ray Spectrometry”, to be presented at the 20th Annual Denver X-ray Conference, August 11-13 1971.
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7. McMaster, W. H., Del Grande, N. K., Mallett, J. H. and Hubbell, J. H.Compilation of X-ray Cross Sections”, UCRL-50174 Section II Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Livermore, California


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