NIXE: Neutron Depth Profiling Coupled with Particle Induced X-Ray Emission


A modification of the Neutron Depth Profiling (NDP) technique is proposed which uses the charged particle-induced X-ray emission generated from the light energetic ions produced in nuclear reactions to provide additional information about the depth profile of elements in the surface of a material. It is demonstrated that the particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) spectrum can also be measured with an NDP apparatus with the addition of an X-ray detector. By using coincidence counting methods, it is possible, in principle, to measure the elemental depth profile in the top few microns of a specimen. In this study, theoretical calculations and Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations were performed for 1400 keV alpha particles in a borosilicate glass material with three layers containing differing concentrations of Na2O, P2O5, B2O3 and SiO2. The production of K-shell X-rays for these elements was calculated from the production rate of alpha particles in (n, α) reactions, simulated using the Monte Carlo of N-Particle (MCNP6) radiation transport code. The main constraints on quantification limits and depth resolution for this technique depend on the material composition, detector efficiencies, and the neutron beam flux.


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Keywords and Phrases

MCNP; Monte Carlo; Neutron Depth Profiling; Particle-Induced X-Ray Emission

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Feb 2020