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Microprobe X-ray fluorescence Beamline (BL-16)


Owing to numerous advantages of a synchrotron based X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technique, we have setup a microprobe XRF beamline (BL-16) on Indus-2 synchrotron radiation facility. The beamline has now become operational. A user can access this beamline by submitting a user beamtime proposal. The beamline works in the x-ray energy range of 4-20 keV. Using the micro-focused mode of the beamline it is possible to examine a specimen for spatial distribution of elements. Various parameters of the microprobe XRF beamline (BL-16) are summarized in Table 1.

The beamline has wide range of usages - both from research laboratories and industries; and for researchers working in diverse fields. Apart from the fields of pure sciences like physics and chemistry, the beamline also provides an attractive platform to exercise interdisciplinary applied sciences like medical, forensic and environmental studies etc. The beamline allows a user to perform x-ray fluorescence and total reflection x-ray fluorescence characterization of materials at micro and trace level. Apart from the elemental mapping, the beamline also provides other modes of XRF characterization, viz. grazing incidence x-ray fluorescence (GIXRF) analysis, chemical speciation, and near-edge absorption spectroscopy etc.

Major applications fields of the beamline

  1. XRF bulk elemental analysis (un-focused mode).
  2. Microprobe XRF – scanning multi-element analysis at a ppm levels with ~ 5 µm spatial resolution (focused mode).
  3. TXRF (Total reflection x-ray fluorescence) spectrometry – for ultra trace element analysis in the femtogram region.
  4. GIXRF (Glancing incidence x-ray fluorescence) spectrometry – a novel technique for depth profiling of impurities in thinfilms and surfaces.
  5. SIXES (Selectively induced x-ray fluorescence emission spectrometry) – to infer chemical state from the chemical shift of the absorption edge (chemical speciation)
  6. Absorption contrast x-ray imaging.

Beamline layout

Beamline Layout

Beamline parameters

Table 1

Beamline Optics
Photographs of the µ-XRF experimental setup and beamline shielding hutch
Experimental Setup and beamline shielding hutch
Photograph of the beamline inside optics shielding hutch
Photograph of the beamline inside optics shielding hutch

Experimental stations

The BL-16 beamlinme has two experimental stations:

  1. 5-axis sample manipulator: For µ-probe XRF mapping/ Imaging of multielement samples
  2. 2-circles goniometer: For grazing incidence XRF/XRR characterization

Beamline performance

Micro-focus x-ray beam

BL-16 beamline provides microfocus x-ray beam spot at the scanning experimental station of the beamline using elliptical bent Kirkpatrick-Baez focusing mirrors. Figures show the measured focus beam size and the X-ray intensity distribution. This micro focused X-ray beam can be used to map the elemental heterogeneity in a specimen.

Recorded CCD Image of microfocused beam at BL-16 experimental station
Recorded CCD Image of microfocused beam at BL-16 experimental station

Measurements for the focused beam

Measured focused beam size at the experimental station was found to be ~ 4.3 µm (V) x 7.5 µm

Few examples

X-ray fluorescence measurements

X-ray fluorescence measurements

Measured SRXRF spectrum from a NIST 610 standard sample (trace elements in glass matrix) at excitation energy of 15 keV. The minimum detection sensitivities for various elements were found to be in ppb range.

Micro-XRF scanning

Micro-XRF scanning
Measured fluorescence micrograph of a Cu grid structure using the BL-16 microfocus beam.



  1. “Experimental validation of XRF inversion code for Chandrayaan-1”
    P.S. Athiray, M. Sudhakar, M.K. Tiwari, S. Narendranath, G. S. Lodha, S. K. Deb, P. Sreekumar, S.K. Dash
    Planetary and Space Science 89 183–187 (2013).

  2. “M sub shell X-ray emission cross section measurements for Pt, Au, Hg, Pb, Th and U at 8 and 10 keV synchrotron photons”
    Gurpreet Kaur, Sheenu Gupta, M K Tiwari and Raj Mittal
    Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, B 2013 (in press).

  3. “Development of high aspect ratio X-ray parabolic compound refractive lens at Indus-2 using X-ray lithography”
    V. P. Dhamgaye, M. K. Tiwari, C. K. Garg, P. Tiwari, K. J. S. Sawhney, G. S. Lodha
    Microsystem Technologies 2013 (in press).

  4. “A microfocus X-ray fluorescence beamline at Indus-2 synchrotron radiation facility”
    M. K. Tiwari, P. Gupta, A. K. Sinha, S. R. Kane, A. K. Singh, S. R. Garg, C. K. Garg, G. S. Lodha and S. K. Deb
    J. Synchrotron Rad. 20, 386–389 (2013).

  5. "A microprobe-XRF Beamline on Indus-2 Synchrotron Light Source"
    M. K. Tiwari, S. R. Kane, A. K. Sinha, C. K. Garg, A. K. Singh, P. Gupta, S. R. Garg, G. S. Lodha and S. K. Deb
    Journal of Physics: Conference Series 425, 072020 (2013).

  6. “Synchrotron-induced EDXRF determination of uranium and thorium in mixed uranium –thorium oxide pellets”
    N. L. Misra, M. K. Tiwari, S. Sanjay Kumar, Sangita Dhara, Ajit Kumar Singh, G. S. Lodha, S. K. Deb, P. D. Gupta and S. K. Aggarwal
    X-Ray Spectrom., 42, 4–7 (2013).

  7. “Synchrotron based micro-XRF study to assess the uniformity in solid pellets”
    N.L. Misra, M. K. Tiwari, BalGovind Vats, S. Sanjay Kumar, Ajit Kumar Singh, G. S. Lodha, S.K. Deb, P.D. Gupta and S.K. Aggarwal
    Presented in EXRS 2012 conference.


  1. “A study on the effect of tantalum-impurity content on the superconducting properties of niobium materials used for making superconducting radio frequency cavities”
    S. B. Roy, L. S. Sharath Chandra, M. K. Chattopadhyay, M. K. Tiwari, G. S. Lodha and G. R. Myneni,
    Supercond. Sci. Technol. 25, 115020 (2012).

  2. “Peak energy shift with fertilization in mint plants:  EDXRF measurements with synchrotron photon source”
    Kamaldip Kaur, Kanan Deep, Meenakshi Bansal, M. K. Tiwari, Raj Mittal
    Arch. Appl. Sci. Res., 4 (5):2152-2160 (2012).

  3. “Commissioning of a Microprobe-XRF Beamline (BL-16) on Indus-2 Synchrotron Source”
    M. K. Tiwari, P. Gupta, A. K. Sinha, C. K.Garg, A. K. Singh, S. R. Kane, S. R.Garg and G. S.Lodha
    AIP Conf. Proc.1447, 499-500 (2012); doi: 10.1063/1.4710097

Contact Number : 244 2516/ 244 2123


Name Email Phone
Dr. M K Tiwari mktiwari(at)rrcat.gov.in 0731-2442124 (Beamline incharge)

Last Modification on : January 2014
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