External beam line

We have a focused external beam line for analysis of objects under ambient pressure conditions.


The External Beam Line at Surrey was commissioned in February 2004. The beam exits through a thin Si3N4window. It can be focused to about 10 microns in size and can be raster scanned across a sample.

The external beam line is useful for analysis of objects which are not compatible with vacuum i.e. they are:

  • Too big
  • Too fragile
  • Too valuable to take samples
  • Alive (e.g. plants or cells) 

It has been used for non-destructive analysis of museum samples to:

  • Investigate ancient technologies
  • Provenance raw materials
  • Study ancient environments and lifestyles
  • Aid conservation studies.