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The iXmini


The iXmini X-ray tube

Portable miniature X-ray source as a non-radioactive detector calibrant

The iXmini is a portable miniature X-ray source for detector calibration. It comprises an X-ray tube with an Fe or Cu anode.

The iXmini can be used for performing reliable flat field calibrations, making fluorescent metal foils and calibrants based on radioactive isotopes obsolete in your lab. With the iXmini, this calibration can now be done autonomously, even when there is no other X-ray source available, e.g. during downtime periods at synchrotrons. It’s also a simple and easy-to-use source for the regular checks of your radiation detection systems.


Features and Benefits

  • Non-radioactive calibrant
  • No special storage or handling permit needed as required for radioactive sources
  • Simple and safe operation
  • Operation in low level vacuum possible (down to 10-2 - 10-3 mbar)
  • Small footprint with a size of 103 x 120 x 89.5 mm3
  • Integrated HV generator and safety controller
  • Two independent safety lines for integration in an interlock system
  • Maximum power of 100 mW with operating parameters 4-10 kV and 2-10 µA
  • Four pre-defined operation modes selectable through a control knob

iXmini with power and interlock connectors

Top view with power selector and warning lights

iXmini with open shutter


The portable source iXmini contains a miniature X-ray tube with Fe (Kα = 6.4 keV) or Cu anode (Kα = 8.04 keV). The iXmini requires an external 24 V DC power supply which should be fused with 1 A. It does not need any special cooling.

  • Dimension: 103 x 120 x 89.5 mm
  • Weight: ca 1500 g
  • Supply voltage: DC 24.0 V +/-1V
  • Metal ceramic miniature X-ray tube with transmission anode
  • Target material: Iron (Fe) or Cupper (Cu) 150 nm on Beryllium window
  • Manual shutter
  • Typical operational voltage: 4.0 – 10.0 kV (anode to cathode)
  • Maximum power: 100 mW



Comparison of two 1000 s images, one without flat field correction (top) and one with flat field correction applied (bottom), together with the corresponding intensity variation over the whole image. As can be seen from the histograms, the homogeneity in the intensity distribution is improved significantly by applying the flat field correction.

Improvement of the intensity homogeneity in dependence of the exposure time of the actual flat field image used for the correction. Reasonable statistics for the flat field correc-tion are already obtained after about 10 min.

Flat Field Calibration of a CMOS Detector

The iXmini was used for applying flat field calibration of a CMOS detector.

The iXmini was operated at 10 kV and 10 μA, using a Cu anode. For the flat field correction, an image with an exposure time of 1000 s was acquired. The homogeneity in the intensity distribution is improved significantly after applying the flat field correction, as shown in the corresponding histograms.