Development and optimization of X-ray based analytical techniques towards the analysis of rare extraterrestrial materials.

01 October 2021 → 30 September 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Analytical spectrometry
    • Chemometrics
    • Instrumental methods
    • Spectroscopic methods
    • Structural analysis
Hayabusa2 sample return mission Confocal X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy Monte Carlo Quantification 3D resolved Non-resonant X-ray Raman Scattering
Project description

Micro-XRF spectroscopy, using synchrotron or conventional X-ray source based excitation, is a well-established non-destructive, microanalytical method, providing information on the elemental distributions in the probed sample. When three dimensional spatially resolved information is of interest, often a confocal micro-XRF detection scheme is applied as an alternative to XRF tomography. However, both methods pose significant challenges when attempting to quantify this data. This proposal aims the further development of quantitative 3D confocal XRF and XAS techniques for the detailed non-destructive and contamination free study of rare-earth element and heavy metal compositional information of unique extraterrestrial materials, acquired from a.o. the JAXA Hayabusa2 space mission. The project will focus on a) implementing advanced confocal detection schemes in Monte Carlo based XRF quantification routines, as well as b) further developing 3D X-ray based structural analysis methods for the detection of low-Z (Ca, Mg, Al) and rare earth elements within millimeter sized geological samples. The experimental studies will be performed as a member of the Hayabusa2 analysis team, in close collaboration with the NanoGeoscience group lead by Prof. F.E. Brenker (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany).