Kemner, K. M., W. Yun, Z. Cai, B. Lai, H. R. Lee, D. G. Lengnini, W. Rodriguez, J. Jastrow, R. M. Miller, S. T. Pratt, M. A. Schnnegurt, C. F. Kulpa, and A. J. Smucker. 1998. Using X-ray microprobes for environmental research. Proceedings of the International Society for Optical Engineering 3449:45-54.
Understanding the fate of environmental contaminants is of fundamental importance in the development and evaluation of effective remediation strategies. Among the factors influencing the transport of these contaminants are the chemical speciation of the sample and the chemical and physical attributes of the surrounding medium. Characterization of the spatial distribution and chemical speciation at micron and submicron resolution is essential for studying the microscopic physical, geological, chemical, and biological interfaces that play a crucial role in determining contaminant fate and mobility. Hard X-ray spectroscopy and imaging are powerful techniques for the element-specific investigation of complex environmental samples at the needed micron and submicron resolution. An important advantage of these techniques results from the large penetration depth of hard X-rays in water. This minimizes the requirements for sample preparation and allows the detailed study of hydrated samples. This paper discusses some current problems in environmental science that can be addressed by using synchrotron-based X-ray imaging and spectroscopy. These concepts are illustrated by the results of recent X-ray microscopy studies at the Advanced Photon Source.
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