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Brighter X-rays on the Benchtop

The power of a synchrotron facility can now be found in a laboratory X-ray source.

Helen Dell
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Courtesy of Bruker-AXS

The power of a synchrotron facility can now be found in a laboratory X-ray source. The new Microstar-H X-ray generation system, from Bruker-AXS http://www.bruker-axs.com of Madison, Wis., produces X-rays that are as intense as those from second-generation synchrotrons (such as the BR1-5 at the Stanford University synchrotron facility), according to Roger Durst, the company's chief technology officer.

Laboratory-scale rotating-anode generators typically create X-rays by bombarding a metal target with a stream of electrons. To direct the electrons and make sure they hit the metal with sufficient energy, the target is usually a highly charged anode. Because the anode's temperature can rise dramatically as the electrons smash into it, the beam is directed at one side of an anode disk, which is spun so the opposite edge can be cooled.

Most systems employ a pure copper anode that can sustain increases of about 500°C before becoming damaged. "But...

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