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The HXT unique selling point is a patented innovation, which creates an X-ray optical lever. This lever produces an annulus from the X-ray generator that substantially magnifies XRD signal strength. This enhanced material specific information allows our X-ray equipment to inspect items, such as bags, minerals and human tissue, in real time, at low dose, in a small format and at low cost. Our novel approach enables real-time analysis in a compact footprint, using ‘gold-standard’ angular-dispersive or energy-dispersive XRD discrimination to establish the presence of specific material within the inspected item. These solutions underpin our IP and know-how for independent XRD screening techniques. These new systems will continue to be developed as part of HXT’s on-going commitment to advanced diffraction systems.

Standard X-ray diffraction (XRD) using a single collimated beam

Standard X-ray diffraction (XRD) using a single collimated beam

HXT exploits patented focal construct technology (FCT) to identify chemical signatures. This approach translates the material identification gold standard of laboratory angular dispersive X-ray diffraction (ADXRD) to a high speed signal acquisition environment. Thus all the concomitant advantages of ADXRD may be realised without sacrificing speed. The major obstacle that has prohibited this approach being applied previously has been the inherently weak diffraction signatures – a barrier that is overcome by FCT. HXT has already shown that FCT does not require specialist X-ray sources or detector development and is capable of dramatic increases in diffraction signal intensity.

Comparative signal strength for typical XRD and FCT XRD

Comparative signal strength for typical XRD and FCT XRD

The basis of FCT is to employ a tubular X-ray beam to generate chemical specific caustic patterns incident upon a detection surface. Analytically the scattering pattern from a sample is the convolution of incident beam with the diffraction Debye cones. It can be shown that the convolution produces high intensity foci along a single axis and high intensity closed path distributions around a principal axis as shown below.

HXT focal construct technology XRD

HXT focal construct technology XRD

The inherent advantage of FCT is it provides orders of magnitude increase in the total amount of chemical signature signal. This aspect is critically important in application areas where every signal photon is important in terms of both scan speed and chemical identification. Competing approaches employing a scanning pencil beam, line-scan fan beam or “snapshot” cone beam are photon starved in comparison to FCT.

Another important advantage of FCT concerns the integration of preferred orientation and grain size effects due to the multiple ray paths employed in the synthesis of each volume element or voxel. In a competitive single ray path technique there is a possibility that zero signals may be sampled no matter the sensitivity of the detector or the power of the interrogating beam.
HXT technology is radical. It has been designed to make efficient use of the primary flux produced by an isotropic X-ray source coupled with high solid angle collection of diffracted signatures. These features support and enhance the fidelity of signatures and the data acquisition speed. 

HXT develops innovative, next generation XRD imaging solutions. Mature, laboratory-based, X-ray analysis techniques currently used throughout the world for the identification of unknown substances have been adapted through HXT patented techniques to realise real-time solutions. This is significant as it translates the science into a solution that can solve industrial and commercial applications at speeds required for these markets.