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X-ray Microfluorescence (XRMF) analysis uses a finely collimated beam of X-rays to excite fluorescent radiation in a sample (Nichols & Ryon 1986). Characteristic fluorescent radiation emanating from the small interaction volume element is acquired using an energy dispersive detector placed in close proximity to the sample. The signal from the detector is processed using a computer-based multi-channel analyzer.
XRMF imaging is accomplished by translating the sample through the small X-ray beam in a step or continuous raster mode. As the sample is translated, a pixel by pixel X-ray intensity image is formed for each chemical element in the sample. The resulting digitized image information for each element is stored for subsequent processing and/or display. The images, in the form of elemental maps representing identical areas, may be displayed and color coded by element and/or intensity and then overlayed for spatial correlation.
The present study of parameters affecting the performance of an X-ray microfluorescence system has shown how such systems use X-ray beams with effective spot sizes less than 100 micrometers to bridge the gap in analytical capabilities between predominately surface micro analytical techniques such as SEM/EDX and bulk analytical methods such as standard XRF analysis. The combination of XRMF spectroscopy with digital imaging allows chemical information to be obtained and mapped from surface layers as well as from layers or structures beneath the sample surface. Simultaneously, it provides valuable high resolution chemical information in a readily interpreted visual form which displays the homogeneity within a given layer or structure. XRMF systems retain the advantages of minimal sample preparation, non-destructive analysis and high sensitivity inherent to XRF methods.
A prototype X-ray fluorescence system for chemical and phase microanalysis of materials has been developed and tested. Preliminary work with this system has indicated X-ray fluorescence detection limits on the order of 40 picograms for heavier elements such as gold when using a 100 micron collimator, 400 second counting time and a silver anode operating at 12 Kw. Phase identification by X- ray diffraction can be obtained from the same spot. A proposed design for an improved system providing greater elemental sensitivities and capable of semi-automated operation has been completed.
The use of high-intensity, 8Kw, x-ray sources (Rigaku rotating-anode generator and wide - angle goniometer for this study) provides both opportunities and challenges. With high - intensity x-ray sources, detection limits can be lowered significantly while still offering count times of practical duration. On the other hand, the availability of high intensity x-ray sources puts greater demands on information extraction procedures and on the mechanical preciseness of sample containment and support. In particular we addressed the use of a cylindrical aluminum sample cell with a 0.010’’ polycrystalline (cold rolled) beryllium window electron –beam welded to an aluminum frame. See Figure 1. This cell permitted analysis of various air-sensitive specimens. The sample was pressed against the back of the beryllium window by a spring-loaded backing plate.
During the summer of 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health responded to the second-largest domestic foodborne hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in the post-vaccine era. The epidemiological investigation included case finding and investigation, sequencing of RNA positive clinical specimens, product trace-back and virologic testing and sequencing of HAV RNA from the product. Additionally, an online survey open to all Hawaii residents was conducted to estimate baseline commercial food consumption. We identified 292 confirmed HAV cases, of whom 11 (4%) were possible secondary cases. Seventy-four (25%) were hospitalised and there were two deaths. Among all cases, 94% reported eating at Oahu or Kauai Island branches of Restaurant Chain A, with 86% of those cases reporting raw scallop consumption. In contrast, a food consumption survey conducted during the outbreak indicated 25% of Oahu residents patronised Restaurant Chain A in the 7 weeks before the survey. Product trace-back revealed a single distributor that supplied scallops imported from the Philippines to Restaurant Chain A. Recovery, amplification and sequence comparison of HAV recovered from scallops revealed viral sequences matching those from case-patients. Removal of product from implicated restaurants and vaccination of those potentially exposed led to the cessation of the outbreak. This outbreak further highlights the need for improved imported food safety.
Limitations of access have long restricted exploration and investigation of the cavities beneath ice shelves to a small number of drillholes. Studies of sea-ice underwater morphology are limited largely to scientific utilization of submarines. Remotely operated vehicles, tethered to a mother ship by umbilical cable, have been deployed to investigate tidewater-glacier and ice-shelf margins, but their range is often restricted. The development of free-flying autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) with ranges of tens to hundreds of kilometres enables extensive missions to take place beneath sea ice and floating ice shelves. Autosub2 is a 3600 kg, 6.7 m long AUV, with a 1600 m operating depth and range of 400 km, based on the earlier Autosub1 which had a 500 m depth limit. A single direct-drive d.c. motor and five-bladed propeller produce speeds of 1–2 m s−1. Rear-mounted rudder and stern-plane control yaw, pitch and depth. The vehicle has three sections. The front and rear sections are free-flooding, built around aluminium extrusion space-frames covered with glass-fibre reinforced plastic panels. The central section has a set of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic pressure vessels. Four tubes contain batteries powering the vehicle. The other three house vehicle-control systems and sensors. The rear section houses subsystems for navigation, control actuation and propulsion and scientific sensors (e.g. digital camera, upward-looking 300 kHz acoustic Doppler current profiler, 200 kHz multibeam receiver). The front section contains forward-looking collision sensor, emergency abort, the homing systems, Argos satellite data and location transmitters and flashing lights for relocation as well as science sensors (e.g. twin conductivity–temperature–depth instruments, multibeam transmitter, sub-bottom profiler, AquaLab water sampler). Payload restrictions mean that a subset of scientific instruments is actually in place on any given dive. The scientific instruments carried on Autosub are described and examples of observational data collected from each sensor in Arctic or Antarctic waters are given (e.g. of roughness at the underside of floating ice shelves and sea ice).
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
On 30 May 2012, Surrey and Sussex Health Protection Unit was called by five nurseries reporting children and staff with sudden onset vomiting approximately an hour after finishing their lunch that day. Over the following 24 h 50 further nurseries supplied by the same company reported cases of vomiting (182 children, 18 staff affected). Epidemiological investigations were undertaken in order to identify the cause of the outbreak and prevent further cases. Investigations demonstrated a nursery-level attack rate of 55 out of 87 nurseries (63·2%, 95% confidence interval 52·2–73·3). Microbiological tests confirmed the presence of Bacillus cereus in food and environmental samples from the catering company and one nursery. This was considered microbiologically and epidemiologically consistent with toxin from this bacterium causing the outbreak. Laboratory investigations showed that the conditions used by the caterer for soaking of pearl haricot beans (known as navy bean in the USA) used in one of the foods supplied to the nurseries prior to cooking, was likely to have provided sufficient growth and toxin production of B. cereus to cause illness. This large outbreak demonstrates the need for careful temperature control in food preparation.
Molecular imprinting is the process by which molecules are imprinted into the matrix of a material through non-covalent bonding, including hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions. In this study hydrogels were imprinted with glaucoma medication with the purpose of creating a reusable ocular drug delivery device with reversible binding sites. The material was synthesized and tested with UV-Vis spectroscopy to determine the concentration of the released drug after twelve hours in distilled water. Modifications were made to the polymer to explore methods required for the proper delivery of the drug over an adequate period of time.
A heuristic greedy algorithm is developed for efficiently tiling spatially dense redshift surveys. In its first application to the Galaxy and MassAssembly (GAMA) redshift survey we find it rapidly improves the spatial uniformity of our data, and naturally corrects for any spatial bias introduced by the 2dF multi-object spectrograph. We make conservative predictions for the final state of the GAMA redshift survey after our final allocation of time, and can be confident that even if worse than typical weather affects our observations, all of our main survey requirements will be met.
The main objectives of our study were to explore reasons for seasonal influenza vaccine acceptance and declination in employees of a large integrated healthcare system and to identify underlying constructs that influence acceptance versus declination. Secondary objectives were to determine whether vaccine acceptance varied by hospital location and to identify facility-level measures that explained variability.
A national health promotion survey of employees was conducted that included items on vaccination in the 2009-2010 influenza season. The survey was administered with two other institutional surveys in a stratified fashion: approximately 40% of participating employees were randomly assigned to complete the health promotion survey.
National single-payer healthcare system with 152 hospitals.
Employees of the healthcare system in 2010 who responded to the survey.
Factor analysis was used to identify underlying constructs that influenced vaccine acceptance versus declination. Mean factor scores were examined in relation to demographic characteristics and occupation. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to determine whether vaccine acceptance varied by location and to identify facility-level measures that explained variability.
Four factors were identified related to vaccine declination and were labeled as (1) “don't care,” (2) “don't want,” (3) “don't believe,” and (4) “don't know.” Significant differences in mean factor scores existed by demographic characteristics and occupation. Vaccine acceptance varied by location, and vaccination rates in the previous year were an important facility-level predictor.
Results should guide interventions that tailor messages on the basis of particular reasons for declination. Occupation-specific and culturally appropriate messaging should be considered. Continued efforts will be taken to better understand how workplace context influences vaccine acceptance.
Zn substitution for Cu in YBa2Cu3O7 rapidly reduces the superconducting transition temperature, Tc. Superconductivity is quenched between x=0.08 (T =30 K) and x=0.10. The normal state paramagnetism grows with Zn substu-tition, presumably due to increased localization on the Cu sublattice. Susceptibility studies of oxygen depleted (nonsuperconducting) Zn-substituted samples support this. Strong non-linear isothermal magnetization suggesting an internal magnetic field is found at T=4.2 K in samples with Zn concentration near to the critical value for suppression of superconductivity. The results are discussed in terms of increased localization of d-electrons on the Cu sites with increasing Zn concentration, which is consistent with recent EPR data.
Single phase orthorhombic YBa2(Cuy1−xZnx)3O7 samples were formed for 0<x<0.16. The high T superconductivityXfor x=6 (T =90 K) is rapidly depressed with increasing x, and is quenched for x>0.08. Low field (<100 G) cooled magnetization studies show that the superconducting component decreases as x approaches the critical value for suppression of superconductivity, and this is supported by high resolution specific heat measurements in the vicinity of T. Temperature dependent electrical resistivity studies for x<0.08 show metallic behavior; for x>0.10 semiconducting behavior. The electrical resistance was studied at high quasihydrostatic pressures also, and for x=0.08 showed that T is depressed with increasing pressure: T → 0 K for P >10 GPa. This is in°contrast to YBa2(Cuy1−xZnx)3O7 where dT /dP>0. The data support evidence for the high sensitivity to chemical and ice perturbations of the physical properties of samples near the superconducting-normal transition region.
X-ray computed tomography (CT) uses absorption profiles from many different viewing directions to reconstruct the two-dimensional distribution of x-ray absorptivity within a slice of the sample. The tunability, high brightness and parallelism of synchrotron radiation are critical to high resolution (0.001mm), high contrast (1%) CT or microtomography. In situ study of samples multiple times during the course of an experiment is exciting to consider.
Continuous fiber SiC/Al composites were deformed under three-point bending, and the resulting damage and fiber arrangement were revealed with synchrotron microtomography. Several hundred slices of 0.012 mm thickness were recorded simultaneously using 25 key radiation and a phosphor screen/charge coupled device (CCD) detector. Reconstruction was with the filtered back projection method. Low density regions were observed in the matrix in regions of highest stress where cracking is expected.
Many materials for engineering applications are used in polycrystalline form and contain grain boundaries with a range of structures and properties. However, most research on grain boundaries to date has focussed exclusively on symmetric coincidence site lattice interfaces. To go beyond descriptions for these simple interfaces and thence to an aggregate of grains and grain boundaries in a polycrystal will require a new approach. Here we discuss two models for properties of polycrystalline materials, including their advantages and drawbacks, and indicate the microstructural variables available to optimize properties.
Following the evolving microstructure of composites through all stages of chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) is a key to improved understanding and control of the process. X-ray Tomographic Microscopy (XTM), i.e., very high resolution computed tomography, allows the microstructure of macroscopic volumes of a composite to be imaged nondestructively with resolution approaching one micrometer. Results obtained with XTM on dense SiC/SiC composites and on woven SiC fiber preforms illustrate how details of the densification process can be followed using this technique during interruptions in processing. Ways in which the three-dimensional microstructural information may be used to improve modeling are also indicated.
During grain growth, shrinking columnar grains in thin-film polycrystalline microstructures eventually reach sizes comparable to the film thickness. Due to surface drag, the sides of such grains may bow inward rather than remaining fiat through the bulk of the film. The grain boundaries delimiting such small shrinking grains may become unstable long before the surface of the shrinking grain reaches zero area. We report simulation results demonstrating such an instability in the limit of infinite surface drag. This may lead to extremely rapid disappearance of 4- or 5- sided grains, such as have been recently observed in in situ hot-stage TEM experiments on aluminum thin film polycrystals.
The dynamic response of the electro-optic coefficients and the electronic polarizability for epitaxial thin films of KnbO3 and BaTiO3 are measured. For these two systems a logarithmic dependence of the electro-optic response and the polarization on time was observed after removal of an applied electric field. The dynamic response of the electro-optic effect and the polarization of the films are attributed to the same physical mechanism, which we associate with the dynamic response of ferroelectric nanodomains.