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PIXE in 1980: Summary of the Second International Conference on Particle Induced X-Ray Emission and its Analytical Applications

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  • Pixe
  • Analytical Applications
  • Physics And Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Medicine


The Second International Conference on Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and its analytical applications was held in Lund, Sweden, June 9-12, 1980. About a hundred papers were presented, including seven invited talks (PIXE and particle scattering, microbeam analysis (2), applications to aerosols (2) and biological samples (2)). The main impression left by the conference was that both the PIXE method and its applications are in a phase of fast development. Considerable effort has successfully been devoted to optimizing the basic PIXE technique. Also the great advantage of simultaneously getting information about lighter elements and sample mass was reported to have been successfully employed in routine analyses. PIXE, which was initially considered to be a method mainly for thin samples, has also been shown to be competitive for a variety of thick samples. Consequently there were several papers dealing with problems characteristic of thick sample analysis. In this context, external beam analysis was also thoroughly discussed. Charged particle microprobes seem to be very attractive and several investigators reported progress on microprobe development and very interesting results of applied work. It is gratifying to note the increasing interest shown by non-physicists in using PIXE. These activities have greatly contributed to the fact that PIXE has now in a few areas left the phase of feasibility tests. E.g. an imposing amount of data from aerosol studies was presented. With the PIXE method, it is feasible to perform series of measurements over a long period of time, many samples in parallel and/or samples from sites of poor accessibility. However, the advantages of PIXE may be further exploited in aerosol investigations and some promising lines of sampler development were reported. Sample preparation techniques are crucial for applications to biological samples and several laboratories are engaged in such developmental work,. However, it was also evident that PIXE us already giving significant contributions to research in biology and medicine.

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