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Summary  

Single aerosol particles were analyzed in the ambient air of the center of Shanghai by scanning proton microprobe to obtain characteristic X-ray spectra (micro-PIXE) which were considered to be the fingerprints of these aerosol particles. The origin of the lead-containing particles was identified by the combination of the micro-PIXE spectra with pattern recognition technique. It was found that the most of the lead-containing particles were derived from vehicle exhaust, coal combustion and soil dust.

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Abstract  

Microbeam analysis is used in biomedical and environmental sciences to determine the presence and concentration of trace elements. However, quantitative analyses of biological samples are challenging because the chemical and physical compositions of existing standards differ from those typically encountered in biological samples. We developed a thin standard using polyvinyl alcohol and assessed its quality by microbeam scanning particle induced X-ray emission (micro-PIXE) analysis. The relationship between metal concentration and X-ray intensity was linear for certain standards up to 500 μg·g−1. Using this new thin standard, micro-PIXE analysis of Zn content in samples of human hair agreed well with analysis performed by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, validating the use of these new thin standards for quantitative mapping with microbeam analysis.

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The paper presents a complex of nuclear-physical methods developed in the Institute of Nuclear Physics of Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center for the investigations of the rate, character and peculiarities of contamination with radionuclides of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (SNTS). The developed method combines both macroinvestigations (radionuclide analysis, NAA, XRFA, ESR- and NGR-spectroscopy) and microinvestigations (MS, micro-PIXE, electron microscopy). The results of the investigations at the main SNTS test sites “Opytnoye pole' and “Degelen' are presented.

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Abstract  

Nuclear microprobe was used to measure single aerosol particles (SAPs) indoors from Shanghai. Every particle is characterized with its micro-PIXE spectrum, which can be considered as the fingerprint of the SAPs. The pattern recognition technique (PR) was applied to trace the SAPs back to their source. Results of five monitor homes at different locations in Shanghai show that most of the measured indoor aerosol particles are derived from soil dust, cement dust, vehicle exhaust, coal boilers and steel mill dust.

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Abstract  

Microbeam proton induced X-ray emission (micro-PIXE) was used to measure elemental composition and distribution profiles in grains and matrices of phosphorite minerals from northwestern Saudi Arabia. Several trace elements including V, Cr, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Sr, Y and U were detected, with concentrations ranging from a few ppm to several hundred ppm. Elemental distribution maps for some of the detected trace elements showed a high degree of correlation. These results are discussed in terms of the geochemistry, diagenetic processes and the genesis of the phosphorite ores.

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