QUANTAX Micro-XRF Spectrometer from Bruker

The QUANTAX Micro-XRF with the XTrace micro-spot X-ray source adds the features of a total micro-XRF spectrometer to a SEM. The user benefits from both the capabilities of a complete micro-XRF spectrometer and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and through this profits from trace element sensitivity and the higher information depth of XRF analysis as well as the light element detection capabilities of SEM energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS). Using polycapillary X-ray optics helps generate high fluorescence intensities on very small sample areas. X-ray optics collect tube radiation from a large solid angle and concentrate the X-rays on spots down to 35µm in diameter for Mo-K radiation.

The generated X-ray fluorescence spectrum is measured with the attached XFlash® silicon drift detector, belonging to the QUANTAX EDS system. The use of an XFlash® SDD offers excellent energy resolution, as determined by the detector specifications. Count rates of about 40kcps can be achieved in the analysis of metals, using a 30mm2 active area detector.

Key Features

The key features of the Quantax Micro-XRF spectrometer include:

  • Samples can be analyzed with EDS and micro-XRF without the need for a position change
  • Both measurement methods are implemented in the same analytical software suite – ESPRIT, enabling method change with a mouse click
  • It does not interfere with standard SEM operation and EDS, XTrace can remain in a fixed position suitable for most tasks
  • Analytical results can be compared with standalone systems
  • Image tiling helps mapping large areas
  • Three primary radiation filters to suppress diffraction peaks
  • Uses the SEM stage, no separate stage needed
  • Additionally easy avoidance of diffraction peaks in XRF spectra through SEM stage rotation
  • Allows sample tilt to produce minimum spot sizes
  • Operating all analytical tools under one interface
  • Switching between methods with a mouse click
  • Direct analysis of identical sample positions with different methods
  • Easy combination of analytical results gained through different methods


XTrace considerably improves the versatility of element analysis in the scanning electron microscope. It covers applications in materials analysis (metals and catalysts) forensics (paint, glass and gunshot residue), geoscience and many others.

Applications include

  • Characterization of multilayer samples
  • Reliable metals and alloy identification
  • Analyzing components and circuits on PCBs
  • Metals and hazardous elements in polymers

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