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High-resolution X-ray emission spectroscopy with transition-edge sensors: present performance and future potential



W.Bertrand (Randy) Doriese, Joseph Fowler, Daniel Swetz, Cherno Jaye, Daniel A. Fischer, Carl D. Reintsema, Douglas Bennett, Leila R. Vale, Gene C. Hilton, Dan Schmidt, Joel Ullom, Jens Uhlig, Ujjwal Mandal, Galen O'Neil, Luis Miaja Avila, Young I. Joe, wilfrid fullagar, Fredrick P. Gustafsson, Dharma Kurunthu, Villy Sundstrom


X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) is a powerful element-selective tool to analyze the oxidation states of atoms in complex compounds, determine their electronic configuration, and identify unknown compounds in challenging environments. Until now the low efficiency of wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectrometer technology has limited the use of XES, especially in combination with weaker laboratory X-ray sources. More efficient energy-dispersive detectors have either insufficient energy resolution because of the statistical limits described by Fano or too low counting rates to be of practical use. This paper updates an approach to high-resolution X-ray emission spectroscopy that uses a microcalorimeter detector array of superconducting transition-edge sensors (TESs). TES arrays are discussed and compared with conventional methods, and shown under which circumstances they are superior. It is also shown that a TES array can be integrated into a table-top time-resolved X-ray source and a soft X-ray synchrotron beamline to perform emission spectroscopy with good chemical sensitivity over a very wide range of energies.
Journal of Synchrotron Radiation


X-ray spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray detector, X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES), resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS), low-temperature detector, microcalorimeter


Doriese, W. , Fowler, J. , Swetz, D. , Jaye, C. , Fischer, D. , Reintsema, C. , Bennett, D. , Vale, L. , Hilton, G. , Schmidt, D. , Ullom, J. , Uhlig, J. , Mandal, U. , O'Neil, G. , Miaja Avila, L. , Joe, Y. , fullagar, W. , Gustafsson, F. , Kurunthu, D. and Sundstrom, V. (2015), High-resolution X-ray emission spectroscopy with transition-edge sensors: present performance and future potential, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, [online],, (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created April 30, 2015, Updated October 12, 2021