Detailed performance depends on detector and configuration, which can be optimized for special applications.
X-123 represents the culmination of 14 years of X-ray detector development at Amptek. Our philosophy has always been to create small, low power, high performance instruments while keeping them simple to operate. The X-123 exemplifies this philosophy by providing in a single package the XR100CR X-Ray Detector and its Charge Sensitive Preamplifier; the DP5 Digital Pulse Processor with pulse chaper, MCA, and interface; and the PC5 Power Supply. All that is needed is a +5 Volts DC input and a USB or RS232 connection to your computer.
Amptekís specialty is X-ray spectrometers, which are small, low power, high performance, and simple to operate. The X123 combines in a single package Amptekís standard, high performance X-ray spectroscopy components: the XR100CR detector and preamplifier, DP5 digital pulse processor and MCA, and PC5 power supply. The result is a complete integrated system which can fit in your hand. In many commercially available systems, the preamplifier alone has more size, mass, and power than this integrated system. It requires only 2 connections to run: +5 VDC power and a standard RS-232 or USB bus. With the X-123, anyone can rapidly obtain high quality X-ray spectra.
The typical detector is a Si-PIN photodiode: X-rays interacting in the silicon create an average of one electron/hole pair for every 3.62 eV of energy lost in the silicon, which is the input signal.
The detector is mounted on a thermoelectric cooler along with the input FET and coupled to a custom charge sensitive preamplifier. The thermoelectric cooler reduces the electronic noise in the detector and preamplifier, but the cooling is transparent to the user: it operates like a room temperature system. The charge-sensitive preamplifier uses a novel feedback technique, injecting reset pulses through the high voltage connection to the detector.
The pulse processor is the DP5, a digital pulse processor which replaces both the shaping amplifier and multichannel analyzer (MCA) found in most analog systems. The use of digital technology improves several key parameters: (1) better performance, specifically better resolution and operation at higher count rates; (2) greater flexibility since more configuration options are available and they are selected by software over a RS-232 interface, and (3) improved stability and reproducibility. The DP5 digitizes the preamplifier output, applies real-time digital processing to the signal, detects the peak amplitude (digitally), and bins this value in its histogramming memory, generating an energy spectrum. The spectrum is then transmitted over the DP5ís interface to the userís computer. The Amptek DP5 has 6 main function blocks to implement these functions: (1) an analog prefilter; (2) an ADC; (3) a digital pulse shaper; (4) pulse selection logic; (5) histogram logic, and (6) interfacing hardware (which includes a microcontroller) and software.
The power supply is Amptekís PC5, a single board. The input is approximately +5 VDC with a current of about 200 mA. The PC5 uses switching supplies to produce all the low voltages required for the digital processor and the preamplifier. It also includes a high voltage multiplier to produce the detector bias voltage, up to 400 V, and supply for the thermoelectric cooler which provides closed loop control with a maximum temperature differential of 85 °C. Both of these supplies are adjusted at the factory for a particular detector.
The complete system is packaged in 7 x 10 x 2.5 cm3 aluminum box, with the detector mounted on an extender. In its standard configuration, only two connections are required: power (+5 VDC) and serial (either USB or RS232). The DP5 board supports several additional inputs and outputs, if the X123 will be integrated with other equipment. This includes an MCA gate, a memory buffer select signal, timing outputs, and SCA ouputs. Please contact Amptek Inc. or see the DP5 specifications for further information.
Figure 4. X-123 Architecture and Connection Diagram
|Energy Resolution||145 to 260 eV FWHM @5.9 keV. Depends on detector, peaking time, and temperature.|
|Energy Range||Efficiency is >25% for X-rays from 1.5 to 25 keV. May be used outside this range with lower efficiency.|
|Maximum Count Rate||Depends on peaking time. Recommended maxima for 50% dead time with pile-up-rejection enabled are shown below.
|Detector and Preamplifier|
|Detector Type||Si-PIN (also available with SDD or CdTe)|
|Detector Area||6 mm2 to 25 mm2|
|Detector Thickness||500 µm, Click here for efficiency curves.|
|Be Window Thickness||1 mil (25 µm) or 0.5 mil (12.5 µm), Click here for transmission curves.|
|Collimator||Multilayer, click here for more information|
|Preamplifier Type||Amptek custom design with reset through the HV connection.|
|Gain||Combination of coarse and fine gain yields overall gain continuously adjustable from 0.84 to 127.5.|
|Coarse Gain||Software selectable from 1.12 to 102 in 16 log steps. 1.12, 2.49, 3.78, 5.26, 6.56, 8.39, 10.10, 11.31, 14.56, 17.77, 22.42, 30.83, 38.18, 47.47, 66.26, 102.0|
|Fine Gain||Software selectable, 0.75 to 1.25, 10 bit resolution.|
|Full Scale||1000 mV input pulse @ X1 gain|
|Gain Stability||<20 ppm/°C (typical)|
|Peaking Time||24 software selectable peaking times between 0.8 and 102 µs, approximately log spaced, corresponding to semi-gaussian shaping times of 0.4 to 45 µs.|
|Dead Time||Total dead time is 1.05 times the peaking time. No conversion time.|
|Fast Channel Pulse Pair Resolving Time||120 ns|
|Number of Channels||Software selectable to: 8k, 4k, 2k, 1k, 0.5k, or 0.25k channels|
|Presets||Time, total counts, counts in an ROI, counts in a single channel|
|USB||2.0 full speed (12 Mbps)|
|Serial||Standard RS232 at 115.2k or 57.6k baud|
|Nominal Input||+5 VDC at 500 mA (2.5 W) (typical). Current depends strongly on detector ΔT. Ranges from 300 to 800 mA at 5 VDC. AC adapter provided.|
|Input Range||4 V to 6 V (300 to 200 mA, 500 mA max)|
|High Voltage Supply||Internal multiplier, adjustable to 400 V|
|Cooler Supply||Closed loop controller with Delta_Tmax = 85 °C|
|General and Environmental|
|Operating temperature||-20 °C to +50 °C|
|Warranty Period||1 Year|
|Typical Device Lifetime||5 to 10 years, depending on use|
|Storage and Shipping||Long term storage: 10+ years in dry environment|
Typical Storage and Shipping: -20°C to +50°C, 10 to 90% humidity non condensing
Certificate #: CU 72101153 01
Tested to: UL 61010-1: 2009 R10.08
|USB||Standard USB Mini jack|
|RS232||Standard 2.5 mm stereo audio jack.|
|Ethernet||Standard Ethernet connector (RJ-45)|
|Power||Hirose MQ172-3PA(55), Mating plug: MQ172-3SA-CV|
2x8 16-pin 2 mm spacing (Samtec part number ASP-135096-01). Mates with cable assembly (Samtec P/N TCMD-08-S-XX.XX-01. Top row odd pins, bottom row even pins. Top right pin = 1, bottom right pin = 2.
|DPPMCA||The X-123 can be controlled by the Amptek DPPMCA display and acquisition software. This software completely controls and configures the X-123, and downloads and displays the data. It and supports regions of interest (ROI), calibrations, peak searching, and so on. The DPPMCA software includes a seamless interface to the XRF-FP quantitative X-ray analysis software package. Runs under Windows XP PRO SP3 or later. Click here for the software download page.|
|SDK||The X-123 comes with a free Software Developer's Kit (SDK). The user can use this kit to easily write custom code to control the X-123 for custom applications or to interface it to a larger system. Examples are provided in VB, VC++, etc. Click here for the software download page.|
|VB Demonstration Software||The VB demonstration software runs on a personal computer and permits the user to set the X-123 parameters, to start and stop data acquisition, and to save data files. It is provided with source code and can be modified by the user. This software is intended as an example of how to manually control the X-123 through either the USB, RS-232, or Ethernet interface using the most basic calls without the SDK. This is primarily needed as an example when writing software for non-Windows platforms. Click here for the software download page.|
Figure 5. X-123 detector extender options.
Figure 6. X-123 with the PA-230 preamplifier and housing. This option is the same as the X-123 except the detector/preamplifier have been removed from the electronics box and connected with a flexible cable. Provided in order to operate the detector remotely from its electronics box. See the OEM page for more information.
Figure 7. Resolution vs. Peaking Time for Si-PIN and SDD Detectors.
Figure 8. Resolution vs. input count rate (ICR) for various peaking times.
Figure 9. Throuhgput, input vs. output count rate.
Most of Amptekís detectors contain internal collimators to improve spectral quality. X-rays interacting near the edges of the active volume of the detector may produce small pulses due to partial charge collection. These pulses result in artifacts in the spectrum which, for some applications, obscure the signal of interest. The internal collimator restricts X-rays to the active volume, where clean signals are produced. Depending on the type of detector, collimators can
The X-123 can be operated in air or in vacuum down to 10-8 Torr. The X-123 can be connected to the vacuum chamber through a standard Conflat compression O-ring port. Optional Model EXV5 (5 inch) or EXV9 (9 inch) vacuum detector extender is available for this application. See figure 5 above. Click here for more information on vacuum applications and options.
Figure 10 (linear). Shows the intrinsic full energy detection efficiency for the X-123 Si-PIN detectors. This efficiency corresponds to the probability that an X-ray will enter the front of the detector and deposit all of its energy inside the detector via the photoelectric effect.
Figure 11 (log). Shows the probability of a photon undergoing any interaction, along with the probability of a photoelectric interaction which results in total energy deposition. As shown, the photoelectric effect is dominant at low energies but at higher energies above about 40 keV the photons undergo Compton scattering, depositing less than the full energy in the detector.
Both figures above combine the effects of transmission through the Beryllium window (including the protective coating), and interaction in the silicon detector. The low energy portion of the curves is dominated by the thickness of the Beryllium window, while the high energy portion is dominated by the thickness of the active depth of the Si detector. Depending on the window chosen, 90% of the incident photons reach the detector at energies ranging from 2 to 3 keV. Depending on the detector chosen, 90% of the photons are detected at energies up to 9 to 12 keV.
Efficiency Package: A ZIP file of coefficients and a FAQ about efficiency. This pacakge is provided for general information. It should not be used as a basis for critical quantitative analysis.
The RoHS / WEEE [Restriction of Hazardous Substances / Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment] directive requires that the electronics industry certify that products comply with maximum concentration amounts of particular elements and compounds (Cr VI, Pb, Cd, Hg, Br PBB/PBDE) by July, 2006. The X-123 can be used to verify compliance with the RoHS/WEE requirements as part of a quality assurance program, via XRF. It permits users to measure the concentration of the specified elements, quickly, accurately, and non-destructively. Companies can verify supplier compliance and demonstrate their own compliance. The X-123 provides OEMs and end users with a powerful X-Ray Spectrometer system in one convenient, small, easy to use instrument that can be quickly implimented to minimize time to market. No additional engineering is required on teh spectrometer end since all the connections have been made internally. All that is needed is a +5 VDC input power and a USB or RS232 connection to a computer.
The X-123 does not sacrifice performance for size. The resolution for the 5.9 keV peak of 55Fe is 145 eV FWHM to 260 eV FWHM depending on the detector type and peaking time. Since the X-123 is a complete packaged spectrometer, it is the perfect choice for fast-track product development and will provide the OEM with the quickest time to market.
Figure 12. RoHS/WEEE Example Spectrum.
Figure 13. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) of multi-element sample from109Cd.
Figure 14. X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) of lead (Pb) from 109Cd.
Figure 15. X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) of a few locations on a PC board from 109Cd.
Figure 16. X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) of a various elements from 109Cd.
Figure 18. X-123 with mounting plate and right angle bracket.
Figure 19. X-123 Mounting Plate.
Figure 20. X-123 right angle mounting bracket.
Complete XRF System Includes
See the Experimenter's XRF Kit.
Design and performance of the X-123 compact X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy system.
Presented at the 2006 Room Temperature Semiconductor Detector Workshop, at the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium.
Application Notes, Tutorials and Resources
X-123 Specifications in pdf
Revised July 3, 2012