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Analytical requirements for quantitative X-ray fluorescence nano-imaging of metal traces in solid samples

DOI: 10.1016/j.trac.2017.03.008 DOI Help

Authors: Laurence Lemelle (Univ Claude Bernard) , Alexandre Simionovici (Univ. Grenoble Alpes) , Tom Schoonjans (Diamond Light Source) , Rémi Tucoulou (ESRF-The European Synchrotron Research Facility) , Emanuele Enrico (Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica) , Murielle Salomé (ESRF-The European Synchrotron Research Facility) , Axel Hofmann (University of Johannesburg) , Barbara Cavalazzi (University of Johannesburg; Università di Bologna)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Trac Trends In Analytical Chemistry

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2017

Abstract: Quantitative nano-imaging of metal traces in a solid is a recent capability arising from the construction of hard X-ray nanoprobes dedicated to X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) imaging on upgraded third generation synchrotrons. Micrometer sample preparation valid for trace analysis is a fundamental part of the required developments to capitalize on the reduced Minimum Detection Limits. Practical guidelines lead us to propose a customized use of Focused Ion Beams (FIB) backed by state of the art Monte Carlo XRF modeling to initiate preparations of new samples and certified standards. The usefulness of these developments is illustrated by the first detection of Ni traces (4.57E+07 ± 3.2E+06 (7.1 %) at.μm-3) in a 3.35 Ga old microstructure of putative microbial origin from Barberton (South Africa). A list of feasibility checks provides a way of getting below 5 ppm MDLs for acquisition-times of 10 seconds with an analytical precision better than 10 %.

Journal Keywords: metal traces; nano-imaging; Synchrotron XRF; hard X-ray Nanoprobe; FIB; X-ray Monte Carlo modeling; Archaean fossils; Barberton

Subject Areas: Technique Development, Physics

Facility: ESRF