Sigray Patented x-ray source technologies

The patented FAAST™ (Fine Anode Array Source Technology) microfocus x-ray source features an x-ray target comprised of fine metal microstructures encapsulated in a diamond substrate. This major advance in x-ray source technology was enabled in part by recent advances in advanced semiconductor processing techniques.

The target is employed by two Sigray x-ray source product lines: 

  • The FAAST-Micro™: a revolutionary microfocus x-ray source and x-ray optic combination designed to enable synchrotron performance in x-ray microanalytical instruments
  • The FAAST-Phase™: a source that provides a patterned x-ray microbeam and was designed to optimize Talbot-Lau phase contrast interferometry

How do the FAAST™ microstructured source targets work?

The key limitation to the brightness achievable in conventional microfocus and rotating anode x-ray sources is the upper limit on power density before the solid metal target melts, which has been a fundamental and well-known bottleneck to achieving high brightness inside the laboratory and outside the synchrotron.

Heat distribution in a Conventional X-ray Target: Melting of the solid metal target limits power loading and source brightness

Heat distribution in a Conventional X-ray Target: Melting of the solid metal target limits power loading and source brightness

Heat distribution in the FAAST Microstructured Target: Small structures enable rapid thermal dissipation for higher power loading

Heat distribution in the FAAST Microstructured Target: Small structures enable rapid thermal dissipation for higher power loading

Sigray’s target resolves this problem through its unique design comprised of microns-scale metal x-ray emitters in close thermal contact with a surrounding diamond substrate to enable highly localized, large thermal gradients that rapidly cool the target as x-rays are produced under electron bombardment. Not only can electron power densities be increased substantially (e.g. over 4X in the case of copper, a common x-ray target material - and even greater for metals of lower thermal conductivity), but there are numerous additional advantages including:

  • provides linear accumulation of x-rays to even further maximize brightness along very low take-off angles;

  • enables the use of many elements previously considered unfeasible as x-ray source materials (thereby enabling access to new x-ray spectra); and

  • empowers the incorporation of multiple microstructured regions with different materials for rapid switching between different x-ray energies within the same source


Overview and Advantages of the FAAST-Micro™

The Sigray FAAST-Micro™ x-ray microbeam delivery system features a high brightness x-ray source in combination with a double paraboloidal x-ray optic to provide >50X the brightness in comparison to existing x-ray illumination beam systems, which are comprised of a conventional microfocus x-ray source coupled to a polycapillary optic.  

Specifically, the FAAST-Micro™ Microbeam provides:

  • The smallest spot x-ray microbeam delivery system (<8 µm) on the market
  • Substantially higher (>50X) brightness at the sample in comparison to existing polycapillary-based x-ray illumination systems  
  • Multi-energy (dual energy or tri energy) x-ray source for ultimate performance and flexibility [target options include: Ti, Cr, Fe, Cu, Ag, Mo, Rh, Au, Pt etc.]
  • Large working distance (up to 50 mm) for a broad range of applications
  • Enables the development of systems with cutting-edge performance, like the AttoMap™ microXRF
High brightness rotating anode x-ray source

OVERVIEW OF THE FAAST-PHASE SOURCE FOR PHASE CONTRAST

Grating-based Talbot interferometry is one of the most exciting new methods that has emerged in x-ray physics over recent years and allows access to information from three x-ray phenomena simultaneously: phase contrast, absorption contrast, and darkfield (scattering) for detailed understanding of the structure and composition of samples. In conventional laboratory systems, a source grating (G0) is typically used in combination with an extended x-ray source. 

Target design - customization available for both 1D and 2D Talbot-Lau interferometry

Target design - customization available for both 1D and 2D Talbot-Lau interferometry

The FAAST-Phase employs a transmission x-ray target featuring an array of microstructured metal x-ray emitters. The arrangement produces a downstream Talbot interference pattern ("Talbot carpet") without requiring the use of a high aspect ratio source grating (G0). 

Benefits of the FAAST-Phase include:

  • Throughput gains of ~4X over conventional approaches
  • Production of large Talbot fringes that reduce requirements on downstream detector and detector grating components when designing a Talbot-based interferometry system
  • Optimized contrast preservation

Information on the FAAST-Phase is available on request and an informational brochure can be downloaded here


MORE INFORMATION

Interested in understanding how the XCITE™ will impact your research or application needs? For a more in-depth technical overview, please fill out the following inquiry form and we will send you a brochure:

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