Fast High-resolution 6D X-ray Micro-beam Characterisation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Abstract

Our proposal concerns the development of a world-leading instrument that will characterise more effectively and efficiently than ever before the intense highly collimated X-ray beams produced at Synchrotron Radiation (SR) facilities. The device will combine high-speed performance with extremely sensitive beam position measurement and beam imaging capabilities. For the first time, one instrument will provide a comprehensive set of X-ray beam characteristics: focal size, position, intensity distribution and energy (wavelength). Uniquely for the X-ray region, these measurements can be performed during an experiment: it will be an in situ - but virtually transparent - device, the product of state-of-the-art detector and signal processing technology. The high temporal resolution of the proposed device will enable the fast detection of beam defocus, vibration, shift and intensity fluctuations. Crucially this capability will be augmented by the possibility of feedback of the output signals into the surrounding optical infrastructure to facilitate correction of any beam motion or indeed accurate tracking across a target to perform a two-dimensional scan.In brief, our world-class system will exhibit several innovative features that will significantly improve the accuracy, reliability and scope of data acquired using micrometer-sized X-ray beams. Looking at the wider community of scientists using synchrotron radiation, it should be stressed that the underlying technology of this cutting-edge device is transferable. It will benefit all scientific experiments conducted at all SR facilities, irrespective of their methodology or wavelength range utilised. For example, in imaging experiments, it will lead to sharper images: any blurring and anomalies due to uneven illumination can be removed. In all experiments, energy shifts in the beam impinging on the sample due to angular drift of the beam entering the monochromator may be eliminated. In X-ray diffraction and scattering, intensities may be recorded on an absolute scale doing away with the ubiquitous scale factor and corrections between successive individual measurements taken with varying beam intensities. Experiments in the domain of microscopic imaging and spectroscopy that require the maintenance of a steady incident flux of a highly collimated beam of a microscopic target area provide a challenge for which the new technology is particularly suitable, especially if, as is often the case, a wavelength scan is also required. As examples of nascent fields that would benefit, we cite the study of biological species using fluorescence tomography and microspectrometry.The topicality of the proposed project and general level of interest in the area is indicated by the exponential increase in published research on X-ray beam position monitoring in recent years. Our approach is original and superior to existing solutions, extending the performance envelope of existing in situ beam monitors that monitor beam position alone. Our multidisciplinary research team has already demonstrated the potential of the technology in two successful proof-of-concept experiments [1-3; part 1]. Furthermore, we have dedicated academic and industrial partners on board who are committed to helping us to develop and enable take up of this novel technology.

Publications

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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/E032605/1 02/01/2007 31/03/2008 £86,044
EP/E032605/2 Transfer EP/E032605/1 01/10/2008 31/07/2009 £79,521
 
Description Netherlands Org for Scientific Res (NWO) 
Organisation Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
Start Year 2008