Particle Induced X-Ray Emission

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    Particle Induced X-Ray Emission (PIXE)

    PIXE is a non-destructive, elemental analysis technique widely used for trace element and multi-element analysis. When charged particles collide with target atoms of a specimen, X-rays characteristic of the elements present in the sample are emitted and detected by the high-resolution silicon detector. PIXE has a high sensitivity for elements from Sodium to Uranium (ppb~ppm). It is used to analyze a diverse range of specimens, including air filters, semiconductor wafers, archeological artifacts, crystalline, and liquid proteins, thin films, coatings, food, biological samples, etc.

    Ion beam sources in PIXE can be configured for specific applications. Scanning ion beams are used to obtain a 2D elemental distribution, and micro ion beams are used for the focused micron-scale analysis of samples. PIXE is also a complementary technique to RBS (Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy) and is widely used together for heavy element identification in materials.

      PIXE Common Uses

      • Identification and depth profiling of heavy elements
      • Aerosol filter analysis
      • Heavy metals and other contaminants, detection in food and biological samples
      • Trace element, major and minor element analysis in a wide range of materials including archeology, artifacts, polymers, plastics, coatings, thin films, etc.
      • Quality control testing for industrial line production


      • Fast non-destructive testing at ambient conditions
      • Less crystal charging and high signal to noise ratio
      • Works with insulating samples
      • No sample preparation required
      • Penetration depth ~10µm
      • Low detection limits 1-100ppm


      • Large analysis area
      • Can only detect elements above Na
      • Homogenous samples required for complete qualitative analysis


      • Aerosols
      • Thin-films and Coatings
      • Environmental Sciences
      • Polymers
      • Material Science
      • Archeology
      • Geology
      • Biological Samples

      PIXE Laboratories

      • Evans Analytical Group (EAG) Laboratories
      • Avomeen
      • Elemental Analysis, Inc.
      • Jordi Labs

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        Particle Induced X-Ray Emission (PIXE)

        Our network of testing labs regularly provides particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) material analysis services.

        particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE)  is a great tool for simultaneous elemental analysis of solid, liquid, or thin-film samples. It is a preferred method for its minimal to no sample prep required and fast testing times. PIXE systems have also been employed in QA/QC programs with proper instrument calibrations in place.

        Particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE)  can detect elements from Sodium through Uranium in solid, liquid, and aerosol filter samples.