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  X-ray Anodes and Sources

X-ray Tubes, XPS Anodes and coated diamond anodes, X-ray source, X-ray anode, X-ray monochromator, XPS components, XPS anodes, CVD diamond, diamond tipped anodes, diamond coating, thin film coating, electron source, electron gun, in-line monochromator

Torr Scientific manufactures and refurbishes X-ray anodes and sources. The anodes emit X-rays in response to an incoming high energy electron beam. When sealed into vacuum devices they become the heart of X-ray tubes which are used in numerous medical, industrial and scientific applications. When incorporated with a vacuum flange, they become the source of X-rays for analytical instruments used for X-ray spectrometry, typically in X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) UHV surface science systems. TSL manufactures anodes to customer specifications. The devices are manufactured in cleanroom conditions and key processes, such as brazing, helium leak testing and thin film coating are all carried out at the company. Torr Scientific also offers a recoating and refurbishment service for X-ray anodes on the major surface analysis instruments.

Further details of the key stages of the company’s X-ray production line can be viewed here.

X-ray Anode Recoating and X-ray Source Refurbishment Service

Torr Scientific offers a recoating service for x-ray anodes used on all the major surface analysis instruments. The company can coat both twin and mono anodes using the usual materials magnesium and aluminium, plus the more exotic such as silver, zirconium, yttrium and titanium. All work is conducted to the highest standards in an ISO 9001 approved company by people who have a strong background in surface analysis related instrumentation and therefore understand the issues of cleanliness and contamination. The latest sputter coating technologies are used to produce clean, pure, strongly adhering coatings, which are very rugged. Click here to see a poster regarding the development of denser and more coherent films.

The company offers several different levels of service:

  • A mechanical and chemical clean and sputter coating with magnesium and aluminium typically 10μm thick. Recoating of both mono and twin anodes is offered and includes coating with zirconium, yttrium and titanium.
  • A more specialist recoat including a proprietary barrier layer for more recent instruments using higher powered and stressed anodes, or simply for older instruments to enhance anode lifetime. The barrier layer prevents lower melting point Al/Cu or Mg/Cu eutectics forming which limit power and lifetime.
  • A full re-tip, cathode replacement and re-build can be quoted on an individual basis, including silver or copper tips, plus diamond and longer life tips.

Anodes should be sent to Torr Scientific in transit tubes and with a health and safety statement confirming that the item is free from hazardous materials. Exposure of magnesium anodes to air should be kept to a minimum. The anodes will therefore be shipped to you in the transit tubes filled with an inert gas. The transit tube can also be provided on request.

Diamond Tipped X-ray Anodes

Torr Scientific has advanced its ability to produce ever higher performance capability for X-ray anodes. The company has developed an in-house process that adds a CVD diamond layer between the copper heat sink and the target material. Diamond’s unmatched thermal conductivity enables far greater heat transfer from the target material to the copper heat sink. Torr uses advanced brazing techniques to vacuum seal the diamond to the heatsink and applies new sputter coating technology to apply thick layers of anode materials with outstanding adhesion and surface finish qualities. This advance is particularly important where the highest possible X-ray energy and power density is desired. Power densities have tripled as a result. Torr Scientific now offers these advanced technologies in everything from the refurbishing and recoating of existing X-ray anodes to the manufacturing of complete X-ray anode assemblies to customer specifications.

X-ray Source Development

The Technology Strategy Board agreed to support a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between The University of Surrey and Torr Scientific. The funding was used to employ a KTP Associate to develop and optimise the use of a novel x-ray monochromator based on Torr Scientific’s leading edge diamond anode technology.

The KTP case study poster can be viewed here.