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Preliminary theoretical approach for materials elemental composition identification using X - Rays spectral transmission data



  1. University of Bucharest, Faculty of Physics, Doctoral School on Physics, 405, Atomistilor str, P.O. Box – MG 11, 077125 Magurele (Ilfov), Romania
  2. Accent Pro 2000 ltd, 1, Nerva Traian Str., K6, 031041, Bucharest, Romania
  3. University of Bucharest, Faculty of Physics, Department of Structure of Matter, Earth and Atmospheric Physics and Astrophysics, 405, Atomistilor str, P.O. Box – MG- 11, 077125 Magurele (Ilfov), Romani


The paper describes a method for detection of chemical elemental composition of organic and inorganic compounds by measuring X-Ray attenuation at different energies. The method is based on the fact that the mass attenuation coefficient of a composed substance is a linear combination of the individual atoms mass attenuation weighed by the mass ratio factors. Using individual energy bin attenuation law equations, the algorithm involves an iterative method for finding best solution of linear equations system. The method was tested using attenuation data from NIST XCOM database with simulated noise. During the simulation process different values of signal to noise (SNR) ratio and different channel width of the energy bins were applied to evidence the best experimental conditions. As expected, determination of the chemical composition precision is strongly affected by the SNR of the input data. We found that reasonable results were obtained at SNR up to 10-5 but the result precision is severely altered on higher levels of SNR. The source of the solution instability is the illconditioned matrix of the attenuation coefficients of the constituent elements of organic materials. However, if we reduce the range of possible solutions to a limited materials database, the algebraic method may provide substance identification with a positive false rate less than 0.7% for SNR of 0.5%. Possible practical implications of these peculiarities are discussed..


X-Rays, Chemical composition, Density, Material identification.

Submitted at: Jan. 15, 2018
Accepted at: Aug. 9, 2018


E. HERMANN, O. G. DULIU, M. IOVEA, Preliminary theoretical approach for materials elemental composition identification using X - Rays spectral transmission data, Journal of Optoelectronics and Advanced Materials Vol. 20, Iss. 7-8, pp. 410-418 (2018)