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Experiment design

The main information can be obtained using XAFS spectra consist in small changes in the absorption coefficient ( E ), which can be measured directly in a transmission mode or indirectly using a fluorescence mode. Therefore, a good signal to noise ratio is required (better than 10 3 ). In order to obtain this signal to noise ratio, an intense beam is required (on the order 10 10 photons/second or better), with the energy bandwidth of 1 eV or less, and the capability of scanning the energy of the incident beam over a range of about 1 KeV above the edge in a time range of seconds or few minutes. As a result, synchrotron radiation is preferred further than other kind of X-ray sources previously mentioned.

Beamline setup

Despite the setup of a synchrotron beamline is mostly done by the assistance of specialist beamline scientists, nevertheless, it is useful to understand the system behind the measurement. The main components of a XAFS beamline, shown in [link] , are as follows:

  • A harmonic rejection mirror to reduce the harmonic content of the X-ray beam.
  • A monochromator to choose the X-ray energy.
  • A series of slits which defines the X-ray profile.
  • A sample positioning stage.
  • The detectors, which can be a single ionization detector or a group of detectors to measure the X-ray intensity.
Schematic of the basic components of a XAFS beamline.

Slits are used to define the X-ray beam profile and to block unwanted X-rays. Slits can be used to increase the energy resolution of the X-ray incident on the sample at the expense of some loss in X-ray intensity. They are either fixed or adjustable slits. Fixed slits have a pre-cut opening of heights between 0.2 and 1.0 mm and a width of some centimeters. Adjustable slits use metal plates that move independently to define each edge of the X-ray beam.


The monochromator is used to select the X-ray energy incident on the sample. There are two main kinds of X-ray monochromators:

  1. The double-crystal monochromator, which consists of two parallel crystals.
  2. The channel-cut monochromator, which is a single crystal with a slot cut nearly through it.

Most monochromator crystals are made of silicon or germanium and are cut and polished such that a particular atomic plane of the crystal is parallel to the surface of the crystal as Si(111), Si(311), or Ge(111). The energy of X-rays diffracted by the crystal is controlled by rotating the crystals in the white beam.

Harmonic rejection mirrors

The harmonic X-ray intensity needs to be reduced, as these X-rays will adversely affect the XAS measurement. A common method for removing harmonic X-rays is using a harmonic rejection mirror. This mirror is usually made of Si for low energies, Rh for X-ray energies below the Rh absorption edge at 23 keV, or Pt for higher X-ray energies. The mirror is placed at a grazing angle in the beam such that the X-rays with fundamental energy are reflected toward the sample, while the harmonic X-rays are not.


Most X-ray absorption measurements use ionization detectors. These contain two parallel plates separated by a gas-filled space that the X-rays travel through. Some of the X-rays ionize the gas particles. A voltage bias applied to the parallel plates separates the gas ions, creating a current. The applied voltage should give a linear detector response for a given change in the incident X-ray intensity. There are also other kinds as fluorescence and electron yield detectors.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

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