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Spectrometer Accessories and Integration with Special Environments: First Steps

Interest in the easyXES100 and easyXAFS300 spectrometers is steadily growing. Customers have been asking about automation of data collection of sets of samples and also the possibility of integrating the spectrometer with accessories for special sample environments, such as potentiostats, refrigerators, furnaces, or reactor gas-flow cells.  Addressing these needs is one of the primary technical goals for easyXAFS in 2018.  In this blog post, we’ll discuss two of the early steps toward the larger goal of increasing the value of our spectrometers for the way that our customers want and need to perform complete studies.

     

Sample Rotary Turret

We are now including a 7-location sample rotary turret with our hard x-ray spectrometers, see the photo.  For example, a standard-sized washer with kapton windows can be filled with a pressed pellets of the desired transmission-mode XANES samples, and then measurements can be programmed with the ‘scheduler’ code (see below).  The rotary turret is kinematically mounted for simple removal and sample exchange outside the radiation enclosure.  The turret automatically finds its home location when it is re-attached to the USB control cable from the computer controlling the spectrometer.

‘Scheduler’ LabView code

Users at synchrotron light sources often benefit from the ability to mount many related samples and then automate XAFS spectra data collection.  The same is true in the laboratory environment.  easyXAFS is now including a ‘scheduler’ version of our LabView-based spectrometer control code.  At its simplest, this allows straightforward programming of the energy scan definitions and number of scans to take for each sample in the sample rotary turret (see above).  However, it also allows two ways to integrate with supporting accessory equipment.  First, it is possible to include calls in the scheduler script to user-defined LabView VI’s.  Second, both the receipt and transmission of analog or digital triggers for interface with measurement support equipment.  The scheduler code works uses a GUI that can be manually programmed or that can load CSV files from spreadsheet programs, for easier book-keeping.  A representative screen shot of the scheduler GUI is given above, where a measurement of three samples is followed by collection of an I0 scan.

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