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High-Sensitivity Detector
come from:Isis | time:2014-3-10 | views:

- Isis Project No 76399

Technology Source: Kyoto University

Portable device for elementary analysis of rare-earth elements.

Inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is one of the conventional methods used to detect and analyse a trace of rare-earth elements in minerals. However, ICP-MS requires timeconsuming acid decomposition of minerals as a pretreatment. It can leave residues of minerals and sometimes fails to identify several elements. The other conventional method used involves a portable X-ray fluorescence detector, deployed for abbreviation detection at mining sites. The sensitivity of this device is, however, so limited that it cannot detect several rare-earth elements. Improvement of detection accuracy has thus been long-waited.

Associate Professor Susumu Imashuku, at Kyoto University, has developed a novel, high-sensitivity detector featuring cathodoluminescence that uses visible light in combination with simultaneously generated X-ray. This electron-ray device uses pyrelectric crystal and a battery under low vacuum. The device can detect several rareearth elements that could not be detected with X-ray.


  1. Compact and portable
  2. Offers high selectivity that enables detection of undetectable elements that are undetectable with conventional portable detectors
  3. Only one pretreatment is required: a crushing process

Research status

A prototype of the device has already been produced and the basic analysing performance of the prototype has been confirmed. Kyoto University seeks business partners to license the patent for practical application of the invention on an industrial scale.

Example applications

  1. On-the-spot elementary analysis at mining sites
  2. Elementary analysis of steelmaking slags in the steel industry