Avaatech XRF Core Scanner Technology: Reliable, Rapid & Non-destructive Analysis
The XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) Core Scanner is originally designed for rapid and non-destructive determination of the chemical composition of sediments from seas, oceans, and lakes. For example, this sediment material is often obtained using box-cores, gravity-cores and piston-cores, and collected in plastic tubes which are subsequently split in length, providing the perfect sediment surface to analyse for its bulk geochemistry using the Avaatech XRF Core Scanner. Apart from such sediment core material, the Avaatech XRF Core Scanner has also been used on varies other materials, as long as they contain a relatively flat surface, such as coral slabs, rock cores, shell material, sediment trap filters, and loose sediment material in sample cups. The analyses with the Avaatech XRF Core Scanner are typically carried out in laboratories on land, but several Core Scanners are currently placed permanently or occasionally (containerized) onboard ships.
The XRF analysis method uses an X-ray source and detector to be positioned accurately above the surface of your sample. X-rays produced by the X-ray tube irradiate the sample. The elements present in the sample emit fluorescence X-ray radiation with discrete energies that are characteristic for the elements in the sample material. Measuring the energies and intensities it is possible to determine which and how much of these elements are present. The latest Avaatech XRF Core Scanner models are equipped with a 100W rhodium (Rh) X-Ray tube and with a cubed silicon drift detector. The state-of-the-art detectors contain a low capacity preamplifier integrated on the detector crystal, which allow an improved spectral resolution at short peaking times compared to older generation detectors.
The XRF core scanner is able to perform a complete scan for major elements in a one meter long core with a sample resolution of 1 cm within a couple of minutes. Of course, this is dependent on the goals of the user. The inhouse developed software makes it easy to adjust settings to meet the desired goals of users. For instance, to reliable measure trace elements, count times and energy settings can appropriately adjusted. On the other hand, if a very high resolution is required, the resolution can easily be adjusted to be as data dense as 0.1 mm. The core scanner is equipped with a motor actuated door which gives access to the core positioning system. The newest core positioning system allows to position up to three cores of up to 1.5 meters in length at the same time.
Avaatech Core Scan Technology and Advancements
Our state-of-the-art sixth-generation Avaatech Core Scanner comes equipped with the latest variable optical XRF system. With the Avaatech optical system the length and the width of the X-ray beam can be determined independently. The length (in down core direction) of the irradiated sample area can be varied from 10 to 0.1mm, while the irradiated length in cross core direction van be varied from 12 to 0.1 mm. The sophisticated Avaatech optical system with slit prevents the detection of X-ray radiation coming from outside of the irradiated sample area (produced through secondary fluorescence of elements that is inherent to the XRF method), which would otherwise result in an undesirable decrease in resolution.
The Avaatech XRF Core Scanner uses a 100W X-ray tube with a rhodium anode to generate X-rays that are used for excitation of elements in the sample. The newest generation (sixth) of Avaatech XRF Core Scanners use a cubed silicon drift detector that contain a low capacity preamplifier integrated on the detector crystal, allowing an enhanced spectral resolution at short peaking times compared to older generation detectors. This allows to reliably detect elements from magnesium (Mg) to uranium (U) with the Avaatech Core Scanner. Uniquely, the entire optical system is helium flushed for an excellent detection of light elements; a feature that many competing core scanners lack, resulting in relatively poor analysis of light elements in these competing scanners. Note that such He-flushing is not necessary if the main focus of the user is on heavier elements and the He-flushing can be set easily on or off in the software. To maximize the analytical signal from the sample surface, the measurement unit will gently make contact with the sample surface, resulting in the unprecedented analytical results by the Avaatech Core ScannerThe sample surface is covered with a thin foil highly transparent to X-rays to prevent the device from being contaminated, while also preventing dehydration of sediment cores during long measurements.
Easy-to-use Software and Up-to-date Hardware
The Avaatech Core Scanner is easy to operate, requiring no expert knowledge for routine analysis, while the machine needs a very limited amount of maintenance. The data processing software analysis that is provided with the Avaatech Core Scanner does not require much user know-how either. Every step of the process can be effortlessly followed. The processed data is available to the user within a couple of minutes after measuring a sediment core or other sample.
Regular contact with users helps us to get feedback that we use to further develop our scanners. Together with technological improvements, this enables Avaatech to offer the most up-to-date equipment and to anticipate to new developments in research. Research and development is continuously done in close collaboration with researchers from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), where the very first XRF Core Scanner was developed and build.
Avaatech has developed reliable core scanners of unequaled quality, used by top researchers all over the world over more than 30 years. Avaatech users typically praise members of Avaatech for their enthusiasm and determination to help its users. Providing excellent service and value is of a top priority of Avaatech.