The NANOHUNTER, winner of the 2007 R&D 100 award, a highly innovative product was designed specifically to offer comprehensive trace materials and design characterization analysis capabilities to a wide range of research disciplines and in highly diverse analytical techniques than was possible with prior technology.
The instrument facilitates non-destructive trace element analysis for chemists, geologists, biologists, biochemists, engineers and material scientists with minimal to no sample preparation for applications spanning from metallo-protein research to environmental assessment and semiconductor wafer metrology.
Offering both trace-level elemental analysis and evaluation of the physical nature of the sample, NANOHUNTER uses a patented switchable wavelength and automated variable X-ray incidence angle excitation design. The instrument can study the complete range of elements, from aluminum (Al) to uranium (U), in solids, liquids, and powders. Chemical information is also provided as a function of analysis depth for profiling surface characteristics of materials. For example, for researchers involved in nano-technology, this ability enables surface layers to be characterized as a residue on a substrate, a homogenous thin film, or as something in between.
The sensitivity of the NANOHUNTER is on par with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and it provides part-per-billion (PPB) level detection limits in a fully automated tool. Direct measurement of residues on a smooth surface provides freedom from complex sample digestion or preparation and makes this spectrometer suitable for replacing or supplementing traditional atomic spectroscopy methods. When compared to other trace level atomic spectroscopy techniques, the revolutionary aspect of NANOHUNTER is in the minimal level of sample preparation required. While using the NANOHUNTER, there is no need for ancillary equipment like fume hoods and microwave digesters, which are associated with trace element analysis in a wet laboratory environment.
The product features of the NANOHUNTER are:
- Analysis of elements from Al to U
- 16-position autosampler
- Face up analysis for maximum flexibility
- Accepts large samples (up to 10 x 10 cm and 5 mm thick)
- Tube above optics minimizes contamination issues
- Trace element analysis
- No sample digestion
- No consumables
- Parts-per-billion (PPB) detection limits
- Variable incidence angle for depth profiling of thin films
- Dual X-ray tubes for superior sensitivity and elemental coverage
- Perform grazing incidence X-ray fluorescence (GIXRF) analysis
- Perform total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) analysis
- Compact benchtop design with low power consumption
- Suitable for mobile laboratories