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photoelectric absorption,

inelastic scattering,

elastic scattering,

electron-positron pair production in the field of the nucleus (html)

General features of the interaction processes include

Stochastic in nature

Probabilities are described by interaction cross sections [cm

2

/g]

Cross sections of different processes are summarized to get the total cross section.

The total atomic cross section

The scattering cross sections depict the probability of the scattering event per atom.

The total atomic cross section can be written as a sum over the cross sections of the most probable individual processes by which

photons interact with atoms

=

PE

+

incoh

+

coh

+

pair

+

nuc

where the cross sections are due to photoelectric absorption, inelastic scattering, elastic scattering, electron-positron pair production in

the field of the nucleus, and nuclear photoeffect cross section.

Absorption

When x-rays travel through matter part of it will be absorbed. An x-ray photon is absorbed by the atom and the excess energy is

transferred to an electron, which may be expelled from the atom, leaving the atom ionized.

True absorption arises from electronic transitions within the atom. It can be understood in terms of quantum theory.

What happens depends on the wavelength and properties of the absorbing atom. When the energy is suitable, a photoelectron may be

ejected. The emitted characteristic radiation is called fluorescence radiation. An Auger electron may also be emitted.

Scattering: elastic scattering, Compton scattering (quantum theory)

1 7 X-ray absorption

2014-06-15 http://www.helsinki.fi/~serimaa/xray-luento/xray-absorption.html

Nuclear photoelectric effect

Photonuclear absorption of the photon by the atomic nucleus results most usually in the ejection of one or more neutrons and/or

protons. This interaction can contribute as much as 5 % to 10 % to the total photon interaction cross section in a fairly narrow energy

region usually occurring somewhere between 5 MeV and 40 MeV. See e.g.

http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/XrayMassCoef/chap2.html (and references cited)

Linear attenuation coefficient and Lambert-Beer law

.

When x-ray beam travels through matter part of it will be absorbed. The absorbed intensity is proportional to the path in the matter,

-dI/ I = dz,

where is the linear attenuation coefficient.

Integration gives the ratio between the intensity of the incident beam I

0

and the transmitted beam

-dI = I(z) dz

dI /I(z) = dz

I(z=0) = I

0

I = I

0

exp(-t)

This is the well-known Lambert Beer law,

I = I

0

exp(- z).

2 7 X-ray absorption

2014-06-15 http://www.helsinki.fi/~serimaa/xray-luento/xray-absorption.html

Absorption is a result of the photons interacting with the electrons in the sample. When using energies 1-100 keV the most important

processes are photoelectric absorption, elastic scattering, and inelastic scattering.

The linear attenuation coefficient is the product of the absorption cross section

a

and the atomic density

a

f the material,

=

a

a

= ( N/A)

a

,

where N is Avocardo number and A the atomic mass number.

The atomic density is computed as

a

= (N/A)

and the electron density as

e

= N (Z/A)

where is the macroscopic density.

Mass attenuation coefficient /

X-rays are absorbed into the material or scattered.

Attenuation is described by mass attenuation constant / [cm

2

/g], where is the density.

I = I

0

exp(-(/) t),

where t is the thickness.

Heterogenous material, monochromatic radiation

I = I

0

exp(- (x) dx),

where (x) is the linear attenuation coefficient at location x. Integration limits are from 0 to t. Linear attenuation coefficient

= (/) .

Multicomponent system /

The ratio / [cm

2

/g] is a constant of the material and independent of its physical state.

Values of mass absorption constant are tabulated for various wavelengths (book International tables of Crystallography).

For a substance containing several elements i=1,2,...

/ = w1 1/ 1 + w2 2 / 2 + ... = _i wi i/ i,

where wi is the weight fraction of the element i.

Polychromatic beam

Polychromatic beam is used e.g. in tomography experiments. For homogeneous material the attenuation is described by

I(x) = (I

0

(E) exp(-(E)x) ) dE,

where E is the energy and I0(E) is the spectrum of the source.

3 7 X-ray absorption

2014-06-15 http://www.helsinki.fi/~serimaa/xray-luento/xray-absorption.html

Heterogenous material, polychromatic radiation

I = ( I

0

(E) exp(- (x) dx) ) dE,

Energy absorption

How much of the beam energy is absorbed in the sample?

The total absorbed energy is

E = E

0

exp(-(/)

en

t),

where E

0

is the total amount of energy of the incoming beam.

This is discussed at NIST www-pages http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/XrayMassCoef/chap3.html

Example. Copper

http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/XrayMassCoef

Carbon

Example. Absorption of water

Assume the radiation be CuK radiation with an energy of E = 8 keV. The density of water = 1 g/cm

3

and / = 10 m

2

/g. For 1 mm

thick water sample I/I

0

= 0.37.

Half layer thickness

I(t(1/2))/I(0) =

T(1/2) = ln(2)/

Example. For water

4 7 X-ray absorption

2014-06-15 http://www.helsinki.fi/~serimaa/xray-luento/xray-absorption.html

T(1/2) = 0.13 cm at 10 keV

T(1/2) = 3.05 cm at 50 keV.

Absorption and energy

Absorption depends on the wavelength:

/ ~

3

Z

3

where is a constant and Z is the atomic number of the element.

Low energy radiation is absorbed more easily than high energy x-rays.

Empirical Victoreen formula () = a

4

+ b

3

+ c

Constants a, b, and c, have been tabulated for various elements.

Absorption edges

http://physics.nist.gov/PhysRefData/XrayMassCoef/ElemTab/z28.html

Sharp discontinuities at K, LI, LII, LIII, M, absorption edges

Discontinuities correspond to wavelengths of the incident beam sufficient to eject an L, M, N electron from the atom.

Example. Platinum

X-ray absorption fine structure

The outgoing electron scatters from nearest atoms. This causes oscillations in the linear absorption coefficient.

5 7 X-ray absorption

2014-06-15 http://www.helsinki.fi/~serimaa/xray-luento/xray-absorption.html

Emission lines

Difference of energy between two states is hv, where the frequency v of the radiation emitted when the atom goes from one state to

another.

Example. K1 chracteristic line is due to KLIII transition: EK1 = EK - ELIII

Filters

Figure shows schematically variation of intensity from an x-ray tube. In some cases it is possible to find a material whose absorption

edge is just below the wavelength of the K line of the anode material.

Experimental determination of attenuation coefficient

Acta Cryst. (1990). A46, 402-408. Problems associated with the measurement of X-ray attenuation coefficients. II. Carbon. Report on

the International Union of Crystallography X-ray Attenuation Project D. C. Creagh and J. H. Hubbell

Acta Cryst. (1987). A43, 102-112. Problems associated with the measurement of X-ray attenuation coefficients. I. Silicon. Report of

the International Union of Crystallography X-ray Attenuation Project D. C. Creagh and J. H. Hubbell

Tabulated values in printed form

J.H. Hubbell, Review of photon interaction cross section data in the medical and biological context. Phys. Med. Biol. 44 (1999) R1-

R22

W.H. McMaster et al, Compilation of X-ray Cross Sections, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory UCRL-50174 sec II, Rev. 1 (1969)

6 7 X-ray absorption

2014-06-15 http://www.helsinki.fi/~serimaa/xray-luento/xray-absorption.html

International Tables for Crystallography,volume C

WWW-pages

NIST databases include values of x-ray cross sections

http://www.nist.gov/pml/data/xraycoef/index.cfm

X-ray properties from W. H.McMaster et. al. Compilation of X-ray Cross-Sections, National Bureau of Standards, for calculation of

x-ray cross sections.

Files for transmission as a function of energy

http://henke.lbl.gov/optical_constants/

Absorption related data for elements

http://dwb.unl.edu/teacher/nsf/c04/c04links/www.csrri.iit.edu/periodic-table.html

Element: Symbol, Z, Atomic weight, density

Edge energies (keV)

Edge jumps

Fluorescence yield (See course www-pages for more data bases)

7 7 X-ray absorption

2014-06-15 http://www.helsinki.fi/~serimaa/xray-luento/xray-absorption.html

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