Investigations of the interaction between radiation and matter as well as the development of modern X-ray detectors for astrophysics and medical researches require the availability of an X-ray beam with wide ranges of variable energy, flux, transversal size and angular divergence.
Such an X-ray beam facility was installed at LAX (Laboratorio per sperimentazioni con radiazione X), jointly operated in Palermo by the DiFTeR and DEAF (Dipartimento di Fisica e Tecnologie Relative e Dipartimento di Energetica ed Applicazioni della Fisica) of the University of Palermo and IASF (Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica cosmica) di Palermo of INAF (National Institute of Astrophysics). The X-ray beam had an operational energy range of 0.1 – 25 keV (extensible up to 60 keV) with a flux of 1010 – 1012 photons/sr/s. The beam, collimated on a length of 10.5 m, had a diameter at full aperture of 200 mm with a divergence of 1°.
Some interesting applications of the LAX facility were:
- Development, investigation and calibration of X-ray detectors: energy resolution, spatial resolution, quantum efficiency;
- Surface physics: material microstructure, reflectivity and transmission of materials, photoemission from materials;
- Absorption and transmission of matter: irradiation, radiation damage.
For the intended applications the LAX X-ray beam facility with good angular collimation fullfilled the requirements and was much more convenient, for example, of the Synchrotron radiation sources.
With different committments and tasks, the following IASF-Palermo people were part of the LAX Team: Filippo Celi, Salvo Giarrusso, Giovanni La Rosa, Giacomo Fazio