A new small-footprint external-beam PIXE facility for cultural heritage applications using pulsed proton beams

M. Vadrucci, G. Bazzano, F. Borgognoni, M. Chiari, A. Mazzinghi, L. Picardi, C. Ronsivalle, C. Ruberto, F. Taccetti

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In the framework of the COBRA project, elemental analyses of cultural heritage objects based on the particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) are planned in a collaboration between the APAM laboratory of ENEA-Frascati and the LABEC laboratory of INFN in Florence. With this aim a 3–7 MeV pulsed proton beam, driven by the injector of the protontherapy accelerator under construction for the TOP-IMPLART project, will be used to demonstrate the feasibility of the technique with a small-footprint pulsed accelerator to Italian small and medium enterprises interested in the composition analysis of ancient artifacts. The experimental set-up for PIXE analysis on the TOP-IMPLART machine consists of a modified assembly of the vertical beam line usually dedicated to radiobiology experiments: the beam produced by the injector (RFQ + DTL, a PL7 ACCSYSHITACHI model) is bent to 90° by a magnet, is collimated by a 300 μm aperture inserted in the end nozzle and extracted into ambient pressure by an exit window consisting of a Upilex foil 7.5 μm thick. The beam is pulsed with a variable pulse duration of 20–100 μs and a repetition rate variable from 10 to 100 Hz. The X-ray detection system is based on a Ketek Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) with 7 mm2active area and 450 μm thickness, with a thin Beryllium entrance window (8 μm). The results of the calibration of this new PIXE set-up using thick target standards and of the analysis of the preliminary measurements on pigments are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314 - 317
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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