As of June 22, 2014

for international journal X-Ray Spectrometry (John Wiley & Sons Ltd.)


Connection of 3D chemical information and materials reproduction (June 6, 2014)

Dr. B. Kanngießer (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany) and her colleagues have recently reported an interesting archaeological application of 3D chemical analysis based on confocal X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy.  This is highly significant for clarifying the technological background of the decorated black- and red-figured Athenian vases (6th and 5th century BC) and the plain black glaze.  The research team discussed the correlation of the iron oxidation state in the black glaze layer with the manufacturing process.  The 3-stage firing process, which was used in the modern reproduction, was retraced by correlating selected attic black glazed (BG) specimens from different periods (Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic).  For more information, see the paper, "Confocal XANES and the Attic Black Glaze: The Three Stage Firing Process through Modern Reproduction", L. Luhl et al., Anal. Chem., Article ASAP (DOI: 10.1021/ac500990k).

X-ray frequency comb (June 1, 2014)

So far, laser combs in visible light wavelength have been known as an extremely precise measure of dimensions.  What would happen if they move into the X-ray region?  The advent of an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) may realize an X-ray frequency comb in the near future.  Dr. S. M. Cavalettobe (Max-Planck-Institut fur Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany) is proposing such an ambitious experiment.  The research could open up wide-ranging applications; ultraprecise X-ray atomic clocks, determination of many X-ray fundamental parameters, quantitative understanding of astrophysical models and quantum electrodynamics etc.  For more information, see the paper, "Broadband high-resolution X-ray frequency combs", S. M. Cavaletto et al, Nature Photonics, June 2014 (DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.113).

Synchrotron imaging of birds’ ancestor (May 23, 2014)

At ESRF in Grenoble, France, several very interesting imaging experiments are going on.  Some fossils of Archaeopteryx, which were believed to live 150 million years ago, are being imaged by using a pin-hole X-ray camera at synchrotron beamlines BM5 and ID19.  The main question is about their wings – whether they could fly or not.  So far, the research has encountered a number of challenges.  The project is conducted by Germany’s Burgermeister-Muller-Museum (the Solnhofen Museum).  For more information, see the following Web site,,49

Electrochemical X-ray fluorescence (April 4, 2014)

A group led by Prof. Julie V. Macpherson (Warwick University, England) has reported electrochemical X-ray fluorescence, which can quantitatively detect heavy metals in solution.  In this technique, electrochemical preconcentration of a species of interest onto the target electrode is achieved by cathodic electro-deposition.  X-ray fluorescence can then help unambiguous elemental identification and quantification of metal concentration.  The key is that the electrochemical preconcentration step improves the detection limit by over 4 orders of magnitude, and it can reach the sub-ppb level.  For more information, see the paper, "Electrochemical X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy for Trace Heavy Metal Analysis: Enhancing X-ray Fluorescence Detection Capabilities by Four Orders of Magnitude", L. A. Hutton et al., Anal. Chem., 86, 4566 (2014).

Application of TXRF to the determination of halide in liquid (March 17, 2014)

Prof. K. Binnemans (KU Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium) and his colleagues have published several papers on the application of TXRF to the determination and quantification of halide impurities in liquid.  So far, the detection of halide ions in solution has been problematic because volatile hydrogen halide compounds are formed when the sample is mixed with the acidic metal standard solution. The loss of hydrogen halide during the drying step of the sample preparation procedure gives imprecise and inaccurate results.  To avoid this, the research group is proposing to introduce an alkaline copper standard Cu(NH3)4(NO3)2.  For more information, see the papers, "Determination of Halide Impurities in Ionic Liquids by Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry", T. V. Hoogerstraete et al., Anal. Chem., 86, 3931 (2014), and "Determination of Halide Ions in Solution by Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence (TXRF) Spectrometry", T. V. Hoogerstraete et al., Anal. Chem., 86, 1391 (2014).

Measurement of steady-state diffusion by the use of confocal X-ray microscopy (December 13, 2013)

An interesting application of confocal micro-X-ray fluorescence has been reported by Dr. Tianxi Sun (Beijing Normal University, China) and his colleagues.  The technique employs a polycapillary focusing X-ray lens and a polycapillary parallel X-ray lens, as well as the laboratory X-ray source (Mo tube).  In the present research, the scan of the confocal point can give the Cu2+ ion distribution near the surface of the electrode in a steady-state diffusion in an electrolytic tank.  The research group studied the effects of the concentration of the electrolyte and the bath voltage on the shape of the layer on the nonuniform distribution of the Cu2+ ions.  For more information, see the paper, "Spatially Resolved In Situ Measurements of the Ion Distribution Near the Surface of Electrode in a Steady-State Diffusion in an Electrolytic Tank with Confocal Micro X-ray Fluorescence", S. Peng et al., Anal. Chem., 86, 362 (2014).


10th Ewald prize - A. Janner and T. W. J. M. Janssen (December 5, 2013)

The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) has announced that Professors A. Janner and T. W. J. M. Janssen (both from the Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands) have been awarded the tenth Ewald prize for the development of superspace crystallography and its application to the analysis of aperiodic crystals.  The presentation of the Ewald Prize will be made during the Montreal Congress Opening Ceremony on 5 August 2014.  The Ewald prize consists of a medal, a certificate and an award of USD 30,000.  Former recipients are E. Dodson (UK), C. Giacovazzo (Italy), G. M. Sheldric (Germany) in 2011, D. Sayre (USA, 2008), P. Coppens (USA, 2005), M. M. Woolfson (UK, 2002), G. N. Ramachandran (India, 1999), M. G. Rossmann (USA, 1996), N. Kato (Japan, 1993), B. K. Vainshtein (Russia, 1990), J. M. Cowley (USA) and A. F. Moodie (Australia) in 1987.    For further information, visit the Web page,

The 8th Asada award (September 24, 2013)

The recipient of the 8th Asada Award, which is presented by the Discussion Group of X-ray Analysis, Japan, in memory of the late Professor Ei-ichi Asada (1924-2005) to promising young scientists in X-ray analysis fields in Japan, is Dr. Hironori Ohashi (Kyushu Univ.), "Characterization of gold catalysts by the combined use of X-ray and Mossbauer spectroscopy"). The ceremony was held during the 49th Annual Conference on X-Ray Chemical Analysis and the 15th International Conference on Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis and Related Methods (TXRF2013), at Osaka City University, Osaka.

Denver X-ray conference awards (August 7, 2013)

During the plenary session of the 63rd Annual Denver X-Ray Conference, three awards were presented.  The 2013 Barrett Award was presented to Vaclav Petricek of the Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Praha, Czech Republic, for developing the theory of incommensurate/modulated/composite crystal structures and its implementation in the computing system Jana2006 (the most widely-used system for solving and refining aperiodic structures), and for making possible the correct archival of such structures in the Powder Diffraction FileTM".  The 2013 Jenkins Award was presented to Rene Van Grieken of the University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, for contributions to the development and application of X-ray methods to a wide variety of topics, from aerosols in the environment to conservation and from new techniques and microanalysis to biomedical applications.  He has been a leader in the X-ray community and has served it in many capacities over the years, including Editor-in-Chief of X-ray Spectrometry as well as being a member of various national and international commissions involved in analytical and environmental chemistry.  He has disseminated his knowledge in an impressive list of papers, books, and invited lectures.  The 2013 Hanawalt Award was presented to Robert B. Von Dreele of Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL, USA, for his insight, courage and creativity in bringing powder diffraction to the macromolecular community.  For further information, visit the Web page,

The 2013 Compton award (May 1, 2013)

The Advanced Photon Source (APS) and APS Users Organization have announced that the 2013 Arthur H. Compton Award has been presented jointly to David E. Moncton, John N. Galayda, Michael Borland, and Louis Emery. The award recognizes the recipients' visionary leadership and technical ingenuity in introducing "top-up" operation to the synchrotron radiation community.  The award consists of a plaque and $2500.  Former recipients of this award are: Edward Stern, Farrel Lytle, Dale Sayers (posthumously), John Rehr (2011); Simon Mochrie, Mark Sutton, Gerhard Grubel  (2009); Andrzej Joachimiak, Gerold Rosenbaum (2007); Gunter Schmahl and Janos Kirz (2005); Martin Blume, Doon Gibbs, Kazumichi Namikawa, Denis McWhan (2003); Wayne A. Hendrickson (2001); Sunil K. Sinha (2000); Donald H. Bilderback, Andreas K. Freund, Gordon S. Knapp, Dennis M. Mills (1998); Philip M. Platzman, Peter M. Eisenberger (1997); Nikolai Vinokurov, Klaus Halbach (1995).


Podcast on wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (February 10, 2014)

PANalytical has launched new software for X-ray fluorescence (XRF) systems.  Stratos is a brand new software package, for both the Epsilon 3 and Axios spectrometer ranges. The company will also be releasing an upgrade of the FingerPrint software for the Epsilon 3 range.  For further information, visit the web page,

The synchrotron song published on YouTube (January 23, 2013)

Perhaps some readers already know Dr. Ken Lea’s synchrotron song, but now it is available on YouTube. The song is about synchrotron radiation and many scientific studies, which have been done at The Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS), Daresbury Laboratory in UK, from 1980 to 2008.  As so many scientific terms (such as wavelength, beamline, monochromator, polarization, collimation, surface acoustic wave, sample chamber etc) are included in the lyrics, it may not be easy for ordinary people to sing this song.  Visit the following You Tube site and have fun!


New Products

Silvaco's X-ray pixel detector developed for X-ray free electron laser applications (June 4, 2014)

Silvaco Japan Co., Ltd (Silvaco) has announced that RIKEN SPring-8 Center (RIKEN) has successfully developed its high performance X-ray pixel detector with a multi-port, charge-coupled device (Multi-port CCD), which is the eye of the X-ray Free Electron Laser facility "SACLA", using Silvaco's TCAD products.  For further information, visit the web page,

Bruker’s new online XRF coating analyzer (April 4, 2014)

Bruker has introduced its new online coating analyzer S2 KODIAKTM, which delivers information on both coating thickness and layer composition in real-time.  The main applications are sheet metal, glass, thin film solar cells, paper coatings and polymer films.  For further information, visit the web page,

Rigaku launches new 2D photon counting X-ray detector for diffraction studies (April 1, 2014)

Rigaku Corporation has announced the release of the Rigaku HyPix-3000 detector, a next-generation two-dimensional semiconductor detector designed specifically to meet the needs of the home lab diffractionist.  The HyPix-3000 is a hybrid pixel array detector with a large active area of approximately 3000 mm2, a small pixel size of 100 μm2, a high count rate of greater than 1 Mcps/pixel, as well as a readout speed of nearly 4 msec.  One particularly attractive feature is seamless switching from 2D-TDI (Time Delay and Integration) mode to 2D snapshot mode to 1D-TDI mode to 0D mode with a single detector.  For further information, visit the web page,




Bruker acquires Prairie Technologies (September 12, 2013)

Bruker Corporation has announced that it has acquired Prairie Technologies, Inc. (Prairie), a provider of life science fluorescence microscopy products.  For further information, visit the web page,


For additional news about X-ray analysis and other spectroscopy sciences, browse the Wiley website.

Kenji Sakurai
Director, X-Ray Physics Group, National Institute for
Materials Science (NIMS)
and Professor, Doctoral Program in Materials Science and
Engineering, Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences,
 University of Tsukuba
1-2-1, Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0047 Japan
Phone : +81-29-859-2821, Fax : +81-29-859-2801

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