Rigaku Americas Corporation is pleased to announce that the Rigaku NANOHUNTER benchtop Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence (TXRF) spectrometer has won the 2007 R&D 100 Award. Presented annually for 44 years by R&D Magazine, the R&D 100 Award is a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the winner is one of the most innovative products of the year.
The Rigaku NANOHUNTER was specifically designed to offer comprehensive trace element and materials characterization analysis capabilities to a broader range of research disciplines, and in more diverse analytical settings, than was possible with previous technology. Whether for geologists, chemists, biochemists, biologists, materials scientists and engineers, non-destructive trace element analysis is attainable, with minimal to no sample preparation, for applications that span from metallo-protein research to environmental assessment and semiconductor wafer metrology.
Providing 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 analyze the full range of elements, from aluminum (Al) to uranium (U), in solids, liquids, and powders. It also provides chemical information as a function of analysis depth for profiling surface characteristics of materials. As an example, for researchers involved in nano-technology, this ability allows surface layers to be characterized as particles on a substrate, a homogenous thin film, or as something in between.
With sensitivity on par with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), NANOHUNTER provides part-per-billion (PPB) level detection limits for liquid samples in a fully automated tool. Unlike ICP-OES, halogens—like bromine (Br) and chlorine (Cl)—can be analyzed with high reproducibility. Organic liquids may also be measured without sample preparation and sample volumes as small as 50 microliters may be analyzed.
Direct measurement of solids and powders provides freedom from complex sample digestion or preparation and makes this spectrometer suitable for replacing or supplementing traditional atomic spectroscopy methods. Compared to other trace level atomic spectroscopy techniques, the revolutionary aspect of NANOHUNTER is in the minimal level of sample preparation required. It liberates the operator from ancillary equipment—like fume hoods and microwave digesters—associated with trace element analysis in a wet laboratory environment.