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High-Resolution, Energy-Dispersive Microcalorimeter Spectrometer for X-Ray Microanalysis



David A. Wollman, Kent D. Irwin, Gene C. Hilton, L L. Dulcie, Dale E. Newbury, John M. Martinis


We have developed a prototype X‐ray microcalorimeter spectrometer with high energy resolution for use in X‐ray microanalysis. The microcalorimeter spectrometer system consists of a superconducting transition‐edge sensor X‐ray microcalorimeter cooled to an operating temperature near 100 mK by a compact adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator, a superconducting quantum interference device current amplifier followed by pulse‐shaping amplifiers and pileup rejection circuitry, and a multichannel analyser with computer interface for the real‐time acquisition of X‐ray spectra. With the spectrometer mounted on a scanning electron microscope, we have achieved an instrument response energy resolution of better than 10 eV full width at half‐maximum (FWHM) over a broad energy range at real‐time output count rates up to 150 s−1. Careful analysis of digitized X‐ray pulses yields an instrument‐response energy resolution of 7.2 plus/minus 0.4 eV FWHM at 5.89 keV for Mn Kα1,2 X‐rays from a radioactive 55Fe source, the best reported energy resolution for any energy‐dispersive detector.
Journal of Microscopy


Wollman, D. , Irwin, K. , Hilton, G. , Dulcie, L. , Newbury, D. and Martinis, J. (1997), High-Resolution, Energy-Dispersive Microcalorimeter Spectrometer for X-Ray Microanalysis, Journal of Microscopy (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created December 1, 1997, Updated June 17, 2020