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X-Ray Spectrometer

Patent Number: 10,914,694


This invention includes: an x-ray plasma source that produces primary x-rays; an x-ray optic that transmits and focuses the primary x-ray onto a sample jet from which fluorescence x-ray are emitted; and a microcalorimeter array detector that measures the energy of the incoming fluorescence x-rays, producing and x-ray spectrum of the sample’s state.

Patent Description

Presently, there are no commercial tools for x-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy with picosecond time resolution. Additionally, there are no tabletop tools for x-ray emission spectroscopy with picosecond time resolution. Previously, x-ray emission spectroscopy with this level of time resolution was only performed at three large x-ray free electron laser facilities (one in the U.S., one in Japan, and one in Europe). This invention changes all of that.

X-Ray Spectrometer


  • This apparatus performs absorption and emission spectroscopy with few-ps time resolution. 
  • These time-resolved spectroscopy techniques reveal the motion of atoms and electrons within molecules that absorb light and a widely hoped to lead to breakthroughs in solar power and optical computing.
  • These measurement techniques are otherwise only possible in billion-dollar scale user facilities with limited beamtime. These facilities include several x-ray free-electron lasers with very limited beamtime, and several synchrotron facilities which also have limited beamtime. This invention provides similar capabilities, with a variety of trade-offs depending the exact comparison (e.g., better time resolution than a synchrotron in many cases, but not as good time resolution as an x-ray free electron laser), in a much cheaper, smaller table-top instrument.
  • There have been tabletop demonstrations of absorption spectroscopy with comparable time resolution.  Their data quality is usually inferior to ours: ours has better energy resolution and can also perform emission spectroscopy.
Created January 3, 2022, Updated February 2, 2024