SPECTRO MIDEX: Micro-XRF Instrument for Rapid Point Analyses and Mappings

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wider range of use: RoHS compliance screening, analysis of precious metals, examination of small samples as well as inclusions in glass and metal, forensic analysis
More powerful silicon drift detector guarantees maximum measuring speed and enables analyses with a working distance of 20 millimeters
Kleve, Chicago, March 08, 2009 – SPECTRO Analytical Instruments presents the third generation of the SPECTRO MIDEX micro XRF spectrometer for the first time at Pittcon 2009 (March 8th to 13th, 2009, Chicago). The new model has been improved in many ways and presents itself as being faster, more powerful and more flexible than its predecessor. It has been designed for the electric and electronics industries, precious metal market, the automotive and aerospace industries and forensic laboratories.

The SPECTRO MIDEX is an XRF instrument equipped with an air-cooled low power X-ray tube with micro focus. The spectrometer utilizes software controlled collimated point excitation. The size of the measuring spot can be optionally set in steps between 200 micrometers and 4 millimeters. The current model, into which the formerly separate MIDEX and MIDEX M versions have been combined, utilizes the latest generation silicon drift detector. The detector can now process up to 250,000 pulses per second. “The new detector makes the MIDEX even faster. It scans the microelectronics on a EC board, a standard size for printed boards, in 30 minutes” explains Dirk Wissmann, Product Manager for XRF spectrometers at SPECTRO. During point analyses, the MIDEX determines the entire contents of a sample in two minutes. Additionally, the stronger detector delivers exact results even with a working distance of 20 millimeters reports Wissmann further: “This opens new areas of use. We can examine the high components of a mounted printed circuit board with varying heights, without damaging the board. It is just as easy to non-destructively search for inclusions in finished automotive components.”

Motor Driven Sample Plate

The MIDEX has a sample chamber that may be optionally equipped with a motor driven XYZ table. For mapping analyses, the travel path can be freely programmed along a surface of 235 x 178 Millimeter, in order to examine all of the capacitors on an electronics board, for example. “Customers also like to use the XYZ table as an autosampler. They place several samples on the table and then program the travel path so that all of the samples are examined,” reports Product Manager Dirk Wissmann. SPECTRO equipped the sample chamber with an integrated video system for point measurements. Users can exactly set the measuring spot and even document the analyzed point in a video image.

Analyzes Surfaces and Valleys

The new MIDEX supports two types of operation: With the standard configuration, the distance between the excitation source and the measuring spot is two millimeters. This mode is well suited to rapid point measurements – testing precious metal alloys, for example – as well as line scans and mappings of flat surfaces with a large measuring spot. This configuration can be supplemented with an optional helium flush; enabling the MIDEX to measure the light elements from magnesium to titanium.

As an alternative, the MIDEX can be configured so that the distance between the excitation source and the measuring spot is 20 millimeters. This distance is ideal for the non-destructive analysis of the lower lying components on a sample. Three dimensional topologies – such as especially high boards or pieces of jewelry with structure surfaces - can also be easily analyzed.

Marketing Director Tom Milner sees two large markets for the SPECTRO MIDEX: “With its strong mapping features and the option of scanning to a depth of 20 millimeters, the MIDEX will set new standards for RoHS compliance screening,” he predicts. The second important market is the jewelry and precious metal industry: “The MIDEX was always ideal for the non-destructive analysis of expensive jewelry and artwork. Now, the instrument has become even faster, which means a vast time savings especially for elaborately structured and massive pieces.” SPECTRO can also visualize the MIDEX in the automotive and aerospace industries, where it can search out inclusions in glass and metal samples, as well as in forensics, to view powder burns with X-ray fluorescence.


SPECTRO is one of the worldwide leading suppliers of analytical instruments for optical emission and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. SPECTRO manufactures advanced instruments, develops the best solutions for strongly varying applications and provides exemplary customer service. SPECTRO’s products are exemplified by unique technical capabilities that deliver measureable benefits to the customer. From its foundation in 1979 until today, more than 30,000 analytical instruments have been delivered to customers around the world.

AMETEK, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with an annual turnover of approximately 2.5 billion USD. AMETEK’s corporate growth plan is based on four key strategies: Operative excellence, strategic acquisitions and alliances, geographic and market expansion as well as new products. AMETEK’s common stock is a component of the S&P MidCap 400 Index and the Russell 1000 Index.

Please contact Tom Milner for additional information, Tel: +49.2821.892-0, 
Fax: +49.2821.892-2200, E-Mail: spectro.info@ametek.com