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ARTAX Portable μ-XRF Spectrometer


Place of Origin:Germany


Keyword tag:Portable μ-XRF Spectrometer;ARTAX ;
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Designed for On-Site Analyses of Valuable or Stationary Objects

       ARTAX is the first commercially available portable μ-XRF spectrometer designed to meet the requirements for a spectroscopic analysis of unique and valuable objects on site, i.e. in archaeometry and art history.


       The system performs a simultaneous multi-element analysis in the element range from Na(11) to U(92) and attains a spatial resolution of down to 70 μm.

       The measurement is non-destructive and non-contact, there is no damage whatsoever to the objects under investigation. ARTAX is set up and operational within 30 minutes. A normal mains power supply is the only requirement for operating ARTAX.
       Depending on the application and available budget, there is a choice of several differently configured spectrometer versions, offering various features and levels of user comfort.Non-destructive analysis of paintings
This example discusses the analysis of a valuable painting by the Italian renaissance artist Piero di Cosimo to determine the reasons for its partial decay, especially in areas which contain blue paint.

Characterization of historical pigments
It is well known, when certain pigments have come into use. It is therefore possible to determine the age of paintings and prints by analyzing their pigment content with μ-XRF. This application example assigns two Dürer prints to different periods.
Analysis of historical ink
Iron gall ink was in widespread use throughout the 16th to 18th centuries. μ-XRF analysis provides important information for provenance and dating of documents written in iron gall ink.
Provenance studies on ceramics
This example illustrates the application of XRF spectrometry as fast and reliable method for provenance studies. Ceramic sherds of different origins were chemically characterized and regionally allocated. The core piece of the system is a compact measuring head containing:
A specially designed, very compact micro-focus X-ray tube in metal-ceramics technology
A polycapillary X-ray optics that produces a micro-spot of primary X-radiation with outstandingly high intensity. 
A compact, high resolution, nitrogen-free XFlash® SD detector with high speed/low noise electronics. 
An advanced sample viewing and analysis spot positioning system.

Portability on a tripod
A mobile, vibration damped tripod carries the measuring head, a motor-driven X-Y-Z positioning stage and the control unit. It enables free positioning of the complete measuring system relative to the object under investigation with a reproducibility of better than ±10 μm.
Fast X-ray tube exchange
The measuring head consists of a central unit containing the detector, the CCD camera and the laser spot. The excitation unit, consisting of tube housing, X-ray tube and X-ray optics, is mounted on the side, fixed by a precision lock, which allows a fast exchange. This enables the user to choose the most suitable excitation sources or target materials and also allows fast exchange of the X-ray optics.
Light element analysis
The ARTAX is equipped with a helium purging system for light element analysis. Using helium purging the measurement range can be extended from that in ambient air – from Ti(22) to U(92) down to Na(11). Using helium instead of vacuum has the added benefit of not endangering the sample, which might not be vacuum-safe. This light element capability allows detection of P(15), S(16) and Cl(17) as well as Al(13) and Si(14), important elements, which would otherwise go unnoticed.
Additional features
Improved accessibility of samples due to a more compact measuring head design and an increased distance to the sample.
Touch sensor for avoidance of damage to the art object
Improved radiation safety by an additional control terminal for direct access to basic functions
Three safety contacts for additional warning lamps, door interlocks etc.
Software control of the helium flow for light element detection and the laser spot for positioning



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