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Home   /   Post Doctorat   /   Development of a compact XRF for online analysis dedicated to process monitoring.

Development of a compact XRF for online analysis dedicated to process monitoring.

Engineering sciences Instrumentation


X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry is a well-known analytical technique for elemental analysis in an industrial context. In a simplified way, this technique is based on the measurement of X-radiation characteristics that are emitted by the atoms rearranging their electron cloud following an external stimulus. This is a non-destructive measurement relevant for the determination of chemical elements within liquid and solid mixture. In the 90s, the work conducted by the CEA has shown the relevance of XRF for the measurement of heavy elements using L-edge, (U, Pu, Am, Np, Cm, Pb) as well as lighter ones (Zr, Mo, Sr) using K-edge. Low detection limits (few mg/l) have been reached and the method has been implemented industrially for monitoring several processes (for instance at La Hague plant). However, operating a XRF requires heavy and cumbersome equipment, especially a nitrogen-cooled detector and a large X-Ray generator.
Recently the technology has been significantly improved on two key issues:
• The X-rays sources, which were miniaturized,
• The detectors thanks to new type of semiconductor of small volumes, operating at room temperature with a convenient spectral resolution (CdZnTe crystals for instance).
In this framework, the proposed subject concerns new R&D studies on potentialities offered by these improvements, regarding two application fields:
• On-line monitoring in reprocessing process.
• Screening of the contaminant in the polluted soils before remediation in a decommissioning context


Département de Technologies du Cycle du combustible
Service Génie Chimique et Systèmes
Laboratoire de Génie Chimique et Instrumentation
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