Mini-X is a self-contained miniature X-ray tube system,
Mini-X is the first of its kind; a self-contained, packaged, miniature X-ray tube system, which includes the X-ray tube, the power supply, the control electronics and the USB communication to the computer. It is designed to replace radioisotopes in X-ray fluorescence analysis applications.
Mini-X has been designed to simplify the XRF process by providing a grounded anode, variable current and voltage controlled via USB and ease of operation. It features a 50 kV/80 µA power supply, a silver (Ag) or gold (Au) transmission target, and a beryllium end window. It is designed for continuous operation in industrial environments.
To further simplify the use of Mini-X an AC adaptor is provided to supply the 12 VDC needed to power the system. The only connections needed to operate the tube are a USB cable and AC adaptor. A flashing red LED and a beeper warns the user when x-rays are present.
The Mini-X is based on the Newton Scientific Inc. miniature X-ray source.
|Target Material||Silver (Ag) or Gold (Au)|
|Target Thickness||Ag = 0.75 µm; (±0.1 µm)|
Au = 1.00 µm (±0.1 µm)
|Tube voltage||10 to 50 kV|
|Tube current||5 µA min. / 200 µA max|
See Figure 2 below
|Approximate Dose Rate||Ag: 1 Sv/h @ 30 cm on axis, 50 kV and 80 µA |
Au: 1.3 Sv/h @ 30 cm on axis, 50 kV and 80 µA
|Approximate Flux||Ag: 106 counts per second/mm2 on the axis at a distance of 30 cm (50 keV/1 µA)|
Au: 1.3x106 counts per second/mm2 on the axis at a distance of 30 cm (50 keV/1 µA)
|Continuous Output Power||4 W max at 100% duty cycle|
See Figure 2 below
|Window Material||Beryllium (Be); window at ground|
|Window Thickness||127 µm|
|Focal Spot Size||Approximately 2 mm|
|Output Cone Angle||120° (See figures 6 and 7)|
|High Voltage Stability||<0.1%|
|Leakage Radiation at 5 cm|
with safety plug installed
|<5 µSv/h (0.5 mrem/h)|
|Power Consumption||9 W at 50 kV and 80 µA|
|Input Voltage||12 VDC (AC adapter included)|
|Control||USB, mini-USB connector (cable included)|
|Settling Time||Typical <1 second|
|Humidity||30 to 90% noncondencing|
|Operating Temperature Range||-10 °C to 50 °C|
|Storage Temperature Range||-25 °C to 60 °C|
|Safety Controls and Indicators||1) External Hardware Interlock|
2) Flashing LED
|Software||Mini-X Control software to control voltage and current (see figure 3).
Mini-X API for custom programming applications.
|Warranty||One year or 2000 hours, whichever comes first|
Figure 2. Mini-X Gold (Au) Output Spectrum at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 kV.
Figure 3. Mini-X Silver (Ag) Output Spectrum at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 kV.
Figure 4. 4W Isopower curve.
Figure 5. USB Software Interface. Allows the user to set the voltage and current as well as monitor both parameters.
Figure 6. Back panel connectors.
Figure 7. Relative Output Spectra: Ag and Au Targets. Taken at a distance of 18 inches (45.7 cm),
with 2 mm diameter collimator on the Mini-X, a 1 mm diameter collimator on the detector, and 50 kV/1 µA.
Note that the Au tube gives more counts for the same current. This is because the Bremsstrahlung increases for increasing Z.
Figure 10. Mini-X Ag Output Spectrum with 3 mil Cu Filter.
Figure 11. Mini-X Ag Output Spectrum with 2 mil Mo Filter.
Figure 12. Mini-X Ag Output Spectrum with 1 mil Ag Filter.
Figure 13. Mini-X Ag Output Spectrum with 1 mil W + 10 mil Al Filter.
Figure 14. Mini-X Ag Output Spectrum with 80 mil Al Filter.
Figure 15. Mini-X Au Output Spectrum with 3 mil Cu Filter.
Figure 16. Mini-X Au Output Spectrum with 2 mil Mo Filter.
Figure 17. Mini-X Au Output Spectrum with 1 mil Ag Filter.
Figure 18. Mini-X Au Output Spectrum with 1 mil W + 10 mil Al Filter.
Figure 19. Mini-X Au Output Spectrum with 80 mil Al Filter.
The above spectra have not been normalized (i.e. not taken at the same current for the same time etc.). They have been provided only to show the shape of the spectrum and demonstrate how a filter can be used to obtain a beam specific to an application. Keep in mind that when any filter is used it reduces the flux coming out of the tube. An Al filter reduces the flux much less than a W or Ag filter. The higher the Z of the filter or the thicker the filter, the less flux will be available. It is therefore necessary to raise the current of the x-ray tube to compensate.
The above spectra were taken with the Amptek XR-100T-CdTe detector, a PX4 digital processor and power supply, and the silver (Ag) and gold (Au) versions of the Mini-X. In the spectra above there are notches observed at 26.7 and 31.8 keV. These are the Cd and Te K absorption edges. The XRF-FP software was used to correct the escape peaks generated in the detector. Please see application note ANCDTE1 for more information on the effects of the CdTe detector on the output spectrum.
The following filters are provided with the Mini-X:
|Material||Thickness (µm/mils)||# Provided|
Figure 20. This figure shows the output spectrum of the Mini-X-Ag at 40 kV unfiltered, and filtered with 80 mils (2 mm) of aluminum (Al). In the unfiltered spectrum, a large fraction of brehmstrahlung counts are at low energy (between 5 and 15 keV), which are removed in the filtered spectrum.
Figrue 21. Shows spectra measured from a lead target using the unfiltered and filtered tube. With no filter, the lead characteristic X-rays are superimposed on a large background of scattered X-rays. With a filter, the signal to background ratio is significantly improved. This will reduce the measurement uncertainty in these lines. Notice how the L-gamma line is much more visible in the filtered spectrum than in the un-filtered.
The Mini-X is provided with two collimators to facilitate its use in XRF applications. They consists of a brass collimators with aluminum (Al) inserts and a cover that screws into the Mini-X. The collimators have 1 and 2 mm diameter holes. A brass safety plug is also provided which, when installed, reduces the flux from an operating tube to less than 25 µSv/h (2.5 mrem/hr) at 5 cm away in accordance with requirement 188.8.131.52.2 of the NS Handbook for Radiation Safety for X-Ray Diffraction and Fluorescence Analysis Equipment.
Figure 22. Mini-X collimator and safety plug.
Figure 23. Mini-X with safety plug installed.
Figure 24. Mini-X with collimator installed.
Figure 25. Nickel plated brass collimator cover mechanical dimensions (mils/mm).
Figure 26. Mini-X mechanical dimensions (in. [mm]).
The Mini-X Is intended to generate x-ray radiation during normal operation. The Mini-X has been designed to focus radiation in the designated output direction, however radiation in other directions is possible and should be addressed with shielding and/or monitoring in the final application.
This device produces X-Rays when energized. To be operated only by qualified personnel.
Radiation levels external to the X-ray tube housing with the brass safety plug ON do not exceed 25 µSv/h (2.5 mrem/h) measured 5 cm from the surface of the housing in accordance with Requirement 184.108.40.206.2 of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) Handbook for Radiation Safety for X-Ray Diffraction and Fluorescence Analysis Equipment.
For more information please see the NBS Handbook.
The inside of the housing can also be lined with 3.18 mm (0.125 inch) of aluminum (Al) in order to absorb the XRF from the shielding material.
Figure 27. Custom packaging to meet the unique demands of the OEM.
NOTE: The OEM X-ray tubes are not the same as the Mini-X. The Mini-X has a USB interface to control the voltage and current through PC software. The Mini-X is and end-user, packaged device.
The OEM versions are controlled by user supplied analog voltages.
Click here for OEM X-ray tubes.
The Mini-X can be configured with a standard conflat for vacuum applications.
Figure 28. Mini-X and XR100 with vacuum couplings.
Complete XRF System Includes
See the Experimenter's XRF Kit.
CAUTION: The Mini-X is only one component of an X-ray instrument. It is the responsibility of the user, the OEM customer, or experimenter to provide a fail safe metal enclosure to prevent escaping radiation while using this product. The final product (turn-key system) must comply with local government regulations to protect personnel from exposure to radiation. Amptek Inc., bears no responsibility for the incorrect use of this product.
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Revised December 20, 2013