Materials identification using a small-scale pixellated x-ray diffraction system

O’Flynn, D.; Crews, C.; Drakos, I.; Christodoulou, C.; Wilson, M. D.; Veale, M. C.; Seller, P. and Speller, R. D. (2016). Materials identification using a small-scale pixellated x-ray diffraction system. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 49(17), article no. 175304.



A transmission x-ray diffraction system has been developed using a pixellated, energy-resolving detector (HEXITEC) and a small-scale, mains operated x-ray source (Amptek Mini-X). HEXITEC enables diffraction to be measured without the requirement of incident spectrum filtration, or collimation of the scatter from the sample, preserving a large proportion of the useful signal compared with other diffraction techniques. Due to this efficiency, sufficient molecular information for material identification can be obtained within 5 s despite the relatively low x-ray source power. Diffraction data are presented from caffeine, hexamine, paracetamol, plastic explosives and narcotics. The capability to determine molecular information from aspirin tablets inside their packaging is demonstrated. Material selectivity and the potential for a sample classification model is shown with principal component analysis, through which each different material can be clearly resolved.

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