The past decade has witnessed tremendous growth in both interest and available techniques for laboratory X-ray analysis. From the progression of commercially-available micro- and nano-CT scanners to the resolution and sensitivity enhancements of x-ray fluorescence spectrometers, the scientific community is benefiting from a rapid expansion of laboratory-based x-ray techniques.
In our work, we have developed a suite of advanced x-ray instrumentation providing a wide range of enhanced capabilities for specimen characterization. The key enabling technology lies in the X-ray source, which features a microstructured target capable of providing 5-10x higher brightness than conventional sealed-tube x-ray sources and offering power flux densities that rival rotating anode sources. The target array can be custom-designed to incorporate a variety of materials, facilitating fast & easy switching between characteristic emission lines and radiation spectra. This source has been subsequently integrated with state-of-the-art X-ray focusing optics, such as ellipsoidal/paraboloidal capillary lenses and finely-structured Fresnel zone plate imaging objective lenses, and sensitive scintillator-coupled CCD detection systems, opening up new opportunities for advancing laboratory x-ray inspection equipment.
Here, we will describe the system geometries in detail and demonstrate how these new advancements have led us to the development of laboratory micro-XRF, nano-XRM, and XAS instrumentation. We will also briefly introduce the image-centric software workspace, which facilitates novice users to collect data quickly and reliably with minimal training overhead.