The external beam line represents an unique opportunity to analyse very fragile samples without any degradations or specific preparation. Indeed it allows a direct ion beam analysis in air without putting under vacuum, sampling or material treatment. Therefore it ensures a total respect of the sample integrity.
Description of the analysis device
The analysis device is designed to collimate and allow the ion beam extraction into air on few centimetres. A ultra-thin polymer (Kapton) film provides the interface between the vacuum of the line and the atmosphere. The new design of the end-station allow the use of two Silicium detectors for collecting retrodiffused particles, one of them is an annular detector for better statistics. A motorized support is used to move the sample near the polymer film, closest to the exit point of the beam.
The most common performed analysis is to collect the X-rays produced during the interaction of the ion with the material (PIXE) thanks to one or two detectors according to the users needs. This technique gives information on the elementary composition of the sample and is actually used for the characterisation of geologic samples.
With the new end station it is now possible to couple PIXE analysis with RBS in order to have a full analysis of the sample.
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About dating of bottles of wine performed on the external beam line: