Bruker Races ahead in Indianapolis

Indianapolis is best known, of course, for Indy Car racing and the famous Indianapolis 500. This year though Bruker, a world leader in microanalysis, have taken the opportunity of the Indianapolis setting for the 2013 Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting, to push ahead of the pack with not just one, but two, new analytical accessories for electron microscopy.

These high-performance additions to an already remarkable Bruker line up are the XSense and the XTrace and both look set to produce new records for materials characterisation in electron microscopy.

The XSense is a parallel beam wavelength dispersive X-ray Spectrometer designed for scanning electron microscope operation. However, the XSense special X-ray mirror optics allows for most effective large angle X-ray collection and parallelisation. The result is an analytical tool excelling in the lower energy range (100 to 3,600 eV) with energy resolution down to 4 eV. This provides highly sensitive trace element detection and superior separation of closely spaced X-ray lines.

The XSense parallel beam optics are fully retractable, and their construction with non-magnetic materials avoids image distortion and beam shift.

The 3-axis auto-alignment system is, of course, fully motorised and produces fast, stable and highly reproducible positioning of the focal spot. Thanks to advanced kinematics the diffracting crystal is always optimally positioned with respect to the X-ray beam over the full scan range resulting in maximum diffraction efficiency.

And with a range of 6 different crystals the XSense can be tuned to provide the optimum conditions for your particular application. Plus, secondary X-ray optics located between detector and crystal further enhances sensitivity and peak-to-background ratios.

Add Bruker’s proprietary detector management system, which actively controls the proportional counter’s internal gas pressure, as well as automatically performing all high voltage and discriminator settings, and in the XSense you have a sure-fire winner.

Lining up alongside the XSense in Indianapolis was the XTrace. The XTrace is a new micro-spot X-ray source designed to allow photon-induced micro X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) spectrometry to be carried out on scanning electron microscopes when operated in association with Bruker’s EDS (energy dispersive X-ray) detectors.

Micro-XRF spectrometry can provide 20 to 50 times lower detection limits, especially in the mid-to-high energy range of the spectrum, when compared with electron-excited X-ray spectrometry. This adds the capability of detecting and analysing trace amounts of higher-Z elements to your system.

Particularly impressive is the facility to alternatively acquire both electron-induced and photon-induced X-ray fluorescence spectra from the same sample area. This is because the XTrace combines a low-power, micro-focus X-ray tube, and focusing polycapillary X-ray optics, to produce a highly intense X-ray beam with spot sizes smaller than 40 microns. Simply attach the XTrace to an appropriate port of your SEM sample chamber and you are ready for the starting flag.

Lucky Microscopy & Microanalysis 2013 delegates in Indianapolis this year then, getting to see two new winners on the starting grid.

Date added: 2015-05-25 14:26:10