PIXE, PIGE and PESA
Particle Induced X-Ray Spectroscopy (PIXE) is a very sensible non-destructive ion beam analytical method for elemental composition study. PIXE is very suitable for a study of area and bulk concentration of elements not for depth analysis. Basees for this method is that the high energetic proton beam excites, due to inner-shell ionization, the emission of characteristic X-rays from the sample atoms. Particle Induced Gamma-ray Spectroscopy (PIGE) is a versatile technique, which complements other ion beam techniques (especially PIXE) for sample analysis. It is the most common application of nuclear analysis. The PIGE method is mostly based on nuclear reactions (p, g), (p,p´g), (p, a g) induced by MeV protons, where prompt nuclear gamma-rays are produced. PIGE is very suitable for light elements analysis.
In the true sense, PIXE is not a nuclear technique, since the ionisation of the atoms by the ion beam and the subsequent emission of characteristic X-rays are purely atomic electromagnetic processes. Great benefit of PIXE is possibility of measurement at atmospheric pressure.
Features of PIXE and PIGE:
measurement at atmospheric pressure
energy of ions: order of MeV
detection limit: up to 100 ppm (PIXE), 1000 ppm (PIGE)
depth range: order of ten micrometer