A new energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence analyzer for museum application

Paul Jett

Abstract

In the course of outfitting renovated laboratory spaces in the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, plans were made to install an x-ray fluorescence analyzer. A survey of available units found them to be wanting. Thus, in collaboration with a private consulting firm (DAC) and a producer of industrial XRF equipment (Spectrace Instruments), a new analyzer was designed and built by DAC to address our specific needs. The analyzer incorporates technological advances not available in the XRF units most employed in museums, and combines these features with more “user friendly” program software. Perhaps the greatest advantage of the equipment is the ability of the X-ray tube/detector housing to move in almost any direction due to the use of an electrically cooled detector which removes the need for the use of liquid nitrogen.