Hope College Physics Department
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2008
Project Summary


Project Title: Analysis of Trace Elements in Float Glass Using Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE)
Student Name: Justin Ferens
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Paul DeYoung and Dr. Graham Peaslee
Source of Support: This material is based upon work supported bythe National Science Foundation under NSF- RUI Grant No. PHY-0651627 and NSF- RUI Grant No. MRI-0319523.
Glass samples that allow different forensic laboratories to calibrate and validate their instruments were produced by Bundeskriminalamt Wiesbaden Forensic Science Institute. The initial intent was to use these samples to standardize laser ablation results. Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) is an ion beam analysis method that identifies and quantifies trace elements in glass with an ion beam. Four calibration samples, two carbon coated and two uncoated, were used in this study to compare the effectiveness of PIXE with laser ablation. For PIXE, the HIBAL particle accelerator was used to collect an x-ray spectrum from the samples. These x-rays resulted from 3.4 MeV protons hitting the glass samples. With GUPIXwin© software, the concentrations of trace elements contained in the glass samples were determined and compared to concentrations found with the laser ablation method. The comparisons showed that PIXE is an acceptable alternative method for trace element analysis of glass.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Publications and Presentations:
“Forensic Analysis of Tempered Sheet Glass by Particle Induced X Ray Emission (PIXE)” L. J. Jisonna, P. A. DeYoung, J. Ferens*, C. Hall*, J. M. Lunderberg*, P. Mears*, D. Padilla*, G. F. Peaslee, and R. Sampson*. Nucl. Instr. And Meth. B, Nucl. Instr. And Meth. B (2011)