High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023

A special issue of Condensed Matter (ISSN 2410-3896). This special issue belongs to the section "Spectroscopy and Imaging in Condensed Matter".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2023) | Viewed by 8780

Special Issue Editors

INFN Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Frascati, Roma, Italy
Interests: nuclear physics; X-ray physics; detector R&D; spectrometers; mosaic crystal; radioprotection; radiobiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
INFN Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Frascati, Roma, Italy
Interests: kaonic atoms; atomic and fundamental physics; statistics and machine learning; radiation detectors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the wake of the success of the 2018 and 2021 editions, a Special Issue for the High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023 (HPXM2023) conference, to be held at the INFN Laboratories of Frascati in June 2023, is foreseen. The scope of this Special Issue is to provide all researchers in X-ray-related fields with the most recent developments in X-ray detection technologies and their impacts on various sectors, such as nuclear physics, astrophysics, quantum physics, XRF, XES, EXAFS, PIXE, plasma emission spectroscopy, monochromators, synchrotron radiation, radioprotection, telescopes and space engineering, medical applications, food and beverage quality control, and elemental mapping.

This Special Issue will not only include works reflecting the authors’ contributions to HPXM2023, but will also be open to all possible researchers who plan to contribute such a review project.

The main topics of the conference and of the Special Issue will be as follows: X-ray energy and position detectors; optics; imaging and tracing simulations; advanced statistical and machine learning methods as well as their applications in biology, astrophysics, nuclear physics, exotic atoms, medical physics, and agrifood; spectrometers; and graphite-based applications as well as chemical analysis.

Dr. Alessandro Scordo
Dr. Fabrizio Napolitano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • X-ray detectors
  • X-ray spectroscopy
  • X-ray imaging
  • X-ray simulations
  • X-ray optics
  • radioprotection
  • graphite-based applications
  • mosaic crystals
  • X-ray applications in astrophysics and nuclear as well as atomic physics
  • medical and agrifood applications of X-rays
  • statistics and machine learning

Related Special Issues

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 2165 KiB  
Article
X-ray Technologies for Astrophysics Missions Supported by the Italian Space Agency
Condens. Matter 2024, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat9010011 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 494
Abstract
The Italian Space Agency plays a key role in the fulfillment of space missions, contributing to the scientific, technological and economic progress in Italy. The agency accomplishes space experiments by collaborating with scientific and industrial entities, supporting them in the realization of new [...] Read more.
The Italian Space Agency plays a key role in the fulfillment of space missions, contributing to the scientific, technological and economic progress in Italy. The agency accomplishes space experiments by collaborating with scientific and industrial entities, supporting them in the realization of new projects able to achieve, over the last two decades, unprecedented results and obtention of fundamental information on the birth and evolution of the universe. The paper describes a selection of X-ray technologies developed by the synergy between the Italian Space Agency and its principal collaborators which contributed to the main scientific results achieved over the years, together with the latest advances addressed to the next astrophysics missions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
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11 pages, 1505 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Different Methods for Evaluating Quantitative X-ray Fluorescence Data in Copper-Based Artefacts
Condens. Matter 2024, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat9010005 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
Handheld X-ray Fluorescence devices (HH-XRF) have given archaeologists and conservators the opportunity to study a wide range of materials encountered in their work with great accessibility and flexibility. The investigation of copper-based artefacts is a frequent application of these instruments in the field [...] Read more.
Handheld X-ray Fluorescence devices (HH-XRF) have given archaeologists and conservators the opportunity to study a wide range of materials encountered in their work with great accessibility and flexibility. The investigation of copper-based artefacts is a frequent application of these instruments in the field of cultural heritage as it gives direct and rapid quantitative results that can provide very important information about them, such as their fabrication technology. This paper discusses the comparison of quantitative results, obtained by a commercial handheld XRF device “Bruker Tracer 5g” on certified standards, compositionally significant in copper-based alloys of interest in the field of cultural heritage. The measured elemental concentrations were derived using three different calibrations, which were examined for their accuracy. Two of them were based on the empirical coefficients approach, performed by the built-in calibration/software (copper alloy calibrations provided by Bruker manufacturer and the Bruker EasyCal software), while the third one was performed off-line by processing the spectra with an independent fundamental parameters (FP) software (PyMca version 5.9.2., a X-ray fluorescence analysis software developed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility). The results highlight that although HH-XRF devices simplify data collection, for optimal quantitative results, the correct choice of analysis conditions and calibration method still requires a detailed understanding of the principles of X-ray spectrometry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
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8 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
On the Importance of Future, Precise, X-ray Measurements in Kaonic Atoms
Condens. Matter 2024, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat9010004 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Progress in the construction of precise X-ray detectors allows measurements of energies and widths of “upper levels” in K mesic atoms. These can be used to determine sub-threshold Kaon-nucleon amplitudes, which are important in investigations of nuclear states of these mesons. The [...] Read more.
Progress in the construction of precise X-ray detectors allows measurements of energies and widths of “upper levels” in K mesic atoms. These can be used to determine sub-threshold Kaon-nucleon amplitudes, which are important in investigations of nuclear states of these mesons. The special case of the 2P state in Kaonic Helium is discussed and used to check the properties of the K proton quasi-bound state. Similar attempts in other elements indicate a need for new, precise measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
10 pages, 2379 KiB  
Article
Design and Use of Portable X-ray Fluorescence Devices for the Analysis of Heritage Materials
Condens. Matter 2024, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat9010001 - 06 Jan 2024
Viewed by 662
Abstract
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a successful technique often used for the elemental analysis of cultural heritage artefacts. It is non-invasive, the equipment can be miniaturized and made portable and it allows addressing crucial issues such as the fabrication technology, authenticity and provenance of [...] Read more.
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a successful technique often used for the elemental analysis of cultural heritage artefacts. It is non-invasive, the equipment can be miniaturized and made portable and it allows addressing crucial issues such as the fabrication technology, authenticity and provenance of the artefacts. Depending on the components’ selection (e.g., the primary source, the detector and the focusing optics, if present), the analytical performance and the consequent suitability to investigate a given class of materials may vary significantly. The present paper discusses the analytical performance—with special regard to the limits of detection and the quantification uncertainty—of two portable XRF spectrometers developed within a collaboration between INFN-LNF-FISMEL and CNR-ISPC. The devices are expressly designed for heritage materials. In particular, one is equipped with focusing optics and it is intended to analyze small details on glasses and pigmented surfaces, whereas the other has a 70 kV X-ray tube, which greatly improves sensitivity for medium-Z elements, which is important in copper-based artefacts. Finally, this paper discusses two case studies to highlight the features of the instruments: one concerns Etruscan vitreous material beads and the other pre- and proto-historic copper-based artefacts from Tyrrhenian Central Italy. Thanks to the small size of the equipment, both investigations could easily be carried out in situ, namely, at the Museo Nazionale Etrusco in Rome and the Museo della Preistoria della Tuscia e della Rocca Farnese at Valentano. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
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19 pages, 11149 KiB  
Article
The Cryogenic Anticoincidence Detector for the NewAthena X-IFU Instrument: A Program Overview
Condens. Matter 2023, 8(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat8040108 - 13 Dec 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
Athena (advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics) is an ESA large-class mission, at present under a re-definition “design-to-cost” phase, planned for a prospective launch at L1 orbit in the second half of the 2030s. It will be an observatory alternatively focusing on two complementary [...] Read more.
Athena (advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics) is an ESA large-class mission, at present under a re-definition “design-to-cost” phase, planned for a prospective launch at L1 orbit in the second half of the 2030s. It will be an observatory alternatively focusing on two complementary instruments: the X-IFU (X-ray Integral Field Unit), a TES (TransitionEdge Sensor)-based kilo-pixel array which is able to perform simultaneous high-grade energy spectroscopy (~3 eV@7 keV) and imaging over 4′ FoV (field of view), and the WFI (Wide Field Imager), which has good energy spectral resolution (~170 eV@7 keV) and imaging on wide 40′ × 40′ FoV. Athena will be a truly transformational observatory, operating in conjunction with other large observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum available in the 2030s like ALMA, ELT, JWST, SKA, CTA, etc., and in multi-messenger synergies with facilities like LIGO A+, Advanced Virgo+, LISA, IceCube and KM3NeT. The Italian team is involved in both instruments. It has the co-PIship of the cryogenic instrument for which it has to deliver the TES-based Cryogenic AntiCoincidence detector (CryoAC) necessary to guarantee the X-IFU sensitivity, degraded by a primary particle background of both solar and galactic cosmic ray (GCR) origins, and by secondary electrons produced by primaries interacting with the materials surrounding the main detector. The outcome of Geant4 studies shows the necessity for adopting both active and passive techniques to guarantee the residual particle background at 5 × 10−3 cts cm−2 s−1 keV−1 level in 2–10 keV scientific bandwidth. The CryoAC is a four-pixel detector made of Si-suspended absorbers sensed by Ir/Au TESes placed at <1 mm below the main detector. After a brief overview of the Athena mission, we will report on the particle background reduction techniques highlighting the impact of the Geant4 simulation on the X-IFU focal plane assembly design, then hold a broader discussion on the CryoAC program in terms of detection chain system requirements, test, design concept against trade-off studies and programmatic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
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13 pages, 8992 KiB  
Article
Fluorescence and Raman Micro-Spectroscopy of LiF Films Containing Radiation-Induced Defects for X-ray Detection
Condens. Matter 2023, 8(4), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat8040103 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 973
Abstract
Lithium fluoride (LiF) film detectors for extreme ultraviolet radiation, soft and hard X-rays, based on the photoluminescence of radiation-induced electronic defects, have been proposed and are currently under further development and investigation. LiF film detectors are versatile and can be integrated in different [...] Read more.
Lithium fluoride (LiF) film detectors for extreme ultraviolet radiation, soft and hard X-rays, based on the photoluminescence of radiation-induced electronic defects, have been proposed and are currently under further development and investigation. LiF film detectors are versatile and can be integrated in different experimental apparatus and imaging configurations. LiF can be grown in the form of polycrystalline thin films and it is compatible with several substrates. The radiation-induced color center (CCs) photoluminescence (PL) response can be enhanced through the appropriate choice of substrates and multilayer designs, and by tailoring the micro-structural properties of polycrystalline LiF films through the control of the growth conditions. In this work, we present the characterization, through fluorescence and Raman micro-spectroscopy, of LiF films, thermally evaporated on different substrates with thicknesses of up to 1 μm, irradiated with soft X-rays produced by a laser plasma source. The combination of these micro-spectroscopy techniques could represent an advanced method to investigate the role of the polycrystalline film structures in CC formation efficiency at the microscopic level, a fundamental aspect of the development of LiF film radiation-imaging detectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
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13 pages, 2051 KiB  
Article
Improving the Time Resolution of Large-Area LaBr3:Ce Detectors with SiPM Array Readout
Condens. Matter 2023, 8(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat8040099 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
LaBr3:Ce crystals have good scintillation properties for X-ray spectroscopy. Initially, they were introduced for radiation imaging in medical physics with either a photomultiplier or SiPM readout, and they found extensive applications in homeland security and gamma-ray astronomy. We used 1 [...] Read more.
LaBr3:Ce crystals have good scintillation properties for X-ray spectroscopy. Initially, they were introduced for radiation imaging in medical physics with either a photomultiplier or SiPM readout, and they found extensive applications in homeland security and gamma-ray astronomy. We used 1 round LaBr3:Ce crystals to realize compact detectors with the SiPM array readout. The aim was a good energy resolution and a fast time response to detect low-energy X-rays around 100 keV. A natural application was found inside the FAMU experiment, at RIKEN RAL. Its aim is a precise measurement of the proton Zemach radius with impinging muons, to contribute to the solution to the so-called “proton radius puzzle”. Signals to be detected are characteristic X-rays around 130 KeV. A limit for this type of detector, as compared to the ones with a photomultiplier readout, is its poorer timing characteristics due to the large capacity of the SiPM arrays used. In particular, long signal falltimes are a problem in experiments such as FAMU, where a “prompt” background component must be separated from a “delayed” one (after 600 ns) in the signal X-rays to be detected. Dedicated studies were pursued to improve the timing characteristics of the used detectors, starting from hybrid ganging of SiPM cells; then developing a suitable zero pole circuit with a parallel ganging, where an increased overvoltage for the SiPM array was used to compensate for the signal decrease; and finally designing ad hoc electronics to split the 1 detector’s SiPM array into four quadrants, thus reducing the involved capacitances. The aim was to improve the detectors’ timing characteristics, especially falltime, while keeping a good FWHM energy resolution for low-energy X-ray detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
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14 pages, 5715 KiB  
Article
Combined Spectroscopy System Utilizing Gas Electron Multiplier and Timepix3 Technology for Laser Plasma Experiments
Condens. Matter 2023, 8(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat8040098 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
We present an innovative X-ray spectroscopy system to address the complex study of the X-ray emissions arising from laser–target interactions, where the emissions occur within extremely brief intervals from femtoseconds to nanoseconds. Our system combines a Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) detector with a [...] Read more.
We present an innovative X-ray spectroscopy system to address the complex study of the X-ray emissions arising from laser–target interactions, where the emissions occur within extremely brief intervals from femtoseconds to nanoseconds. Our system combines a Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) detector with a silicon-based Timepix3 (TPX3) detector. These detectors work in tandem, allowing for a spectroscopic radiation analysis along the same line of sight. With an active area of 10 × 10 cm2, the GEM detector allows for 1D measurements for X-ray energies (2–50 keV) by utilizing the full 10 cm gas depth. The high-energy part of the radiation beam exits through a downstream side window of the GEM without being absorbed in the gas volume. Positioned side-on at the GEM detector’s exit, the TPX3 detector, equipped with a pixelated sensor (55 µm × 55 µm; active area 14 mm × 14 mm), uses its full 14 mm silicon sensor to detect hard X-rays (50–500 keV) and gamma rays (0.5–10 MeV). We demonstrate the correct operation of the entire detection system and provide a detailed description of the Timepix3 detector’s calibration procedure, highlighting the suitability of the combined system to work in laser plasma facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
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9 pages, 2004 KiB  
Article
The Implementation of MuDirac in Geant4: A Preliminary Approach to the Improvement of the Simulation of the Muonic Atom Cascade Process
Condens. Matter 2023, 8(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/condmat8040101 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1172
Abstract
Muonic Atom X-ray Emission spectroscopy (µ-XES) is a novel elemental technique that exploits the high-energy X-rays emitted from the muonic atom cascade process to characterize materials. At the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, the technique is performed at Port4 of the RIKEN-RAL facility, [...] Read more.
Muonic Atom X-ray Emission spectroscopy (µ-XES) is a novel elemental technique that exploits the high-energy X-rays emitted from the muonic atom cascade process to characterize materials. At the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, the technique is performed at Port4 of the RIKEN-RAL facility, with a user demand that is increasing every year. To cope with this demand, it is necessary to continue to improve the method, either for the hardware (detectors, acquisition, etc.) or software (data analysis and interpretation). In both cases, Monte Carlo codes play an important role: with a simulation, it is possible to reproduce the experimental setup and provide a reliable quantitative analysis. In this work, we investigate the capabilities of GEANT4 for such applications. From the results, we observed that the generation of X-rays, especially the kα and kβ transition for high Z atoms, are not in agreement with the experimental ones. A solution to this issue, other than an attempt with a small modification of the GEANT4 cascade class, could be provided by a database of transition energy calculated by a Dirac equation software called MuDirac. The software, developed by the UKRI scientific computing department and the ISIS muon group, can compute all the transition energy for a given nuclide. Here, preliminary results of the implementation of the MuDirac database in GEANT4 are reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision X-ray Measurements 2023)
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