Revista mexicana de física
versão impressa ISSN 0035-001X
The emission of X-rays after the excitation with photons, electrons, or light ions (such as protons or deuterons), has been extensively studied. However, when heavier ions are used as primary radiation to induce this effect, other phenomena appear that are not present in the other cases. They include, for example, the formation of short-lived molecules, the capture of electrons from the target atom by the incoming ion, and a strong increase in the multiple ionization of the target atom. Usually, the ionization cross sections are higher as compared to those of photons, electrons, or protons. Furthermore, when thick targets are irradiated with heavy ions, there is a larger probability to create defects in the material, and also a higher stopping power in the target material. All these differences make the study of the X-ray production by heavy ions a problem not fully understood, and far from being applied in an extensive manner to the characterization of materials. In this work, an explanation of the basic phenomena is presented, together with possible uses of the emission of X-rays by the impact of the heavy ions, as an extension of the traditional method Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE).
Palavras-chave : X-rays; ionization; heavy ion impact; PIXE.