Portable micro-XRF mapping for Cultural Heritage

microScanix is a micro X-Ray Fluorescence (µXRF) imaging instrument designed for field and laboratory work, with an emphasis on portability, high-resolution and high-throughput.

microScanix is intended for scientists seeking a portable solution for µXRF analysis and elemental mapping without compromising on performance.

microScanix allows collecting spatially resolved XRF data down to 55 µm resolution, and acquire elemental composition maps by raster-scanning the measurement pixel by pixel with its XY stage.

microScanix was developed in collaboration with NASA and LAMS (Sorbonne Université-CNRS, France). Like with other eXaminart products, the technology at the base of microScanix derives from NASA planetary instrument developments programs, and brings unprecedented miniaturization and ruggedness to Cultural Heritage Research.

Technical details

The instrument head hosts an air-cooled microfocused X-ray tube combined to a polycapillary optic to illuminate a spot on the sample as small as 55µm.

A high-resolution SDD collects the X-ray fluorescence signal.

Two lasers and a miniature color camera allow precise focusing on the sample.

High-precision motorized XY (or XYZ) stages with ranges of 150 mm or 300 mm.


Data Examples

TEM Grid
Analysis of a Sèvres porcelain plate, with gold decoration on dark blue background, XIXth century.
Integral spectrum fundamental parameter fit (PyMCA)
Analysis of a mid XIXth century painting by Jules Breton.
  • X-ray tube set at 30kV and 100µA (3W)
  • 200 µm and 0.5 s per point
  • 132 seconds per line (50 mm wide)
  • 183 lines (36.6 mm high)
  • total time <7hrs
  • 15,000 cps on 70mm2 SDD
Images courtesy of Dr. P. Walter, LAMS (Sorbonne Université-CNRS).

Primary partners

  • CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France)
  • LAMS – Laboratoire d’Archéologie Moléculaire et Structurale (France)
  • NASA (USA)


V.A. Solé, E. Papillon, M. Cotte, Ph. Walter, J. Susini, A multiplatform code for the analysis of energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectra, Spectrochim. Acta Part B 62 (2007) 63-68.