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X-ray Fluorescence Ultra High Vacuum Chamber Mirror Facility Commissioned at IAEA Seibersdorf

NSIL staff working with the new mirror facility in Seibersdorf

The Nuclear Science and Instrumentation Laboratory (NSIL) of IAEA Seibersdorf has commissioned a new X-ray Fluorescence Ultra High Vacuum Chamber (XRF UHVC) “Mirror Facility” at the IAEA Seibersdorf Laboratories. The UHVC end-station is built around a flexible 7-axis manipulator for sample and detector positioning. The facility is a training and development clone of the IAEA experimental end-station at the Elettra synchrotron light source, Trieste, Italy.

Elettra is a 3rd generation light source, where experiments benefit from a tuneable monochromatic beam enabling application of various X-ray spectrometry and spectroscopic techniques such as: Elemental analysis with XRF techniques for inhomogeneous samples; for trace analysis using Total Reflection XRF -TXRF; for depth resolution in the nanometre range via Grazing Incidence or Grazing Exit X-Ray Fluorescence; chemical speciation of specific elements with X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES); or for determination of layer thicknesses and optical constants via X-Ray Reflectometry.

At NSIL, the Mirror Facility provides scientific investigators with a unique preparatory offline training and experiment development station for the above techniques. The NSIL facility enables scientists from synchrotron “newcomer” countries to develop their skills in experimental techniques and supports them in the drafting of synchrotron experiment proposals through a better understanding of the opportunities and capabilities of state-of-the-art XRF UHVC equipment.

Beam-time provided at light-source facilities is limited throughout the world and often costly and extremely competitive, with a premium put on operational hours. “Through use of the mirror-facility we can optimize the exploitation of precious time for experiments at the Elettra synchrotron radiation source”, explained Alessandro Migliori, Senior Laboratory Technician at NSIL. “The new research facility will give us the opportunity to train Member State scientists in Seibersdorf, before the valuable beam time at Elettra is used. It will also enable us to improve hardware and software to be used at the XRF beamline at Elettra and to try out new experimental setups without interrupting the experiments of regular users.”

The Mirror Facility is now operational and requests for Fellowship training, Scientific Visits and research use via CRP proposals, TC projects or via direct requests are welcomed.

The mirror-facility of the UHVC was set up in Seibersdorf as part of the Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) project and was funded by Germany. The UHVC is based on research and development by the German institutes Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig and Technical University Berlin, and its design was carried out in close collaboration with NSIL.

For more information please contact: NSIL - Contact Point NSIL.Contact-Point@iaea.org with the subject UHVC.

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