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Handheld XRF

a DIY portable X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometer + analyzer that does instant elemental analysis

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These devices usually sell for about $10,000. I bet I can build one for much, much cheaper. As a chemist, the idea of being able to instantly determine the elemental content of almost any material, wherever I am, not having to be in the lab, gives me a massive nerdgasm. I would use this thing way too much... which brings me to the next point: safety. As X-rays are hazardous to life, making sure such a device is safe is extremely important. Lead shielding will be used and I'll try to eliminate all x-ray exposure and minimize beam intensity. Testing of the device will need to be done using a very controlled setup.

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legodude522 wrote 12/27/2016 at 22:56 point

Many of the parts required are easily available from Amptek and Newton Scientific if you have the funds.  Still considerably cheaper than finished commercial products.  Here is a kit from Amptek that can be built.  http://amptek.com/products/complete-xrf-experimenters-kit/

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davedarko wrote 05/19/2015 at 21:26 point

Start with a tape dispenser, I've heard that they emit X-Rays ;)

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Dylan Bleier wrote 05/19/2015 at 21:36 point

this is fact, I saw a paper on it a while ago.  I doubt it's an intense enough source though.  and it has to be done under vacuum

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davedarko wrote 05/19/2015 at 22:09 point

I might have smuggled in the video after you read and commented on this, but only by accident.

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Sophi Kravitz wrote 05/19/2015 at 20:28 point

I worked on XRFs a lot last year. Not handheld ones though, but benchtops and some really really big ones. It will be cool to see where this project goes.

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