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Anal Chem. 2015 May 5;87(9):4597-600. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b01169. Epub 2015 Apr 24.

Nondestructive elemental depth-profiling analysis by muonic X-ray measurement.

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†Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043, Japan.
‡College of Liberal Arts, International Christian University, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0015, Japan.
§Institute of Materials Structure Science, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0801, Japan.
∥Advanced Science Research Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai, Ibaraki 319-1195, Japan.
⊥College of Engineering, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Saitama-shi, Saitama 337-8570, Japan.
#Graduate School of Engineering Science, University of Electro-Communications, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan.
○J-PARC Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai, Ibaraki 319-1195, Japan.
⊗National Museum of Japanese History, Sakura, Chiba 285-8502, Japan.


Elemental analysis of materials is fundamentally important to science and technology. Many elemental analysis methods have been developed, but three-dimensional nondestructive elemental analysis of bulk materials has remained elusive. Recently, our project team, dreamX (damageless and regioselective elemental analysis with muonic X-rays), developed a nondestructive depth-profiling elemental analysis method after a decade of research. This new method utilizes a new type of probe; a negative muon particle and high-energy muonic X-rays emitted after the muon stops in a material. We performed elemental depth profiling on an old Japanese gold coin (Tempo-Koban) using a low-momentum negative muon beam and successfully determined that the Au concentration in the coin gradually decreased with depth over a micrometer length scale. We believe that this method will be a promising tool for the elemental analysis of valuable samples, such as archeological artifacts.

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