High Flux X-ray Source from Sigray – FAAST™ (Fine Anode Array Source Technology)

FAAST-Micro™  is a patented microfocus X-ray source technology from Sigray. It consists of unique anode design mated to a highly optimised optic that produces industry-leading performance.

Unique Design of the FAAST-Micro X-Ray Source

The patented design of the Sigray X-ray source employs micron-scale metal X-ray emitters that are embedded into a diamond substrate. The diamond substrate provides optimal cooling resulting in synchrotron-like performance, while intimate contact between the metal and diamond maximises heat dissipation into the substrate. The design utilises large, highly localised thermal gradients to rapidly cool the target as X-rays are being generated as a consequence of electron bombardment.

Conventional X-ray sources rely on bulk metal substrates. The brightness of these sources is limited by the power density achievable before the solid metal substrate melts.

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Heat distribution in a Conventional X-ray Target. Melting of the solid metal target limits power loading and source brightness.

sigray FAAST x-ray target

Heat distribution in the FAAST Microstructured Target. Small structures enable rapid thermal dissipation for higher power loading.

Compared to conventional copper anodes, the FAAST design produces electron power densities 4X greater than copper. For other anode materials with thermal conductivities lower than copper, the electron power density of a microstructured source design compared to a bulk anode design is even greater.

Sigray’s patented anode design results in several key advantages over more conventional anodes. These include:

  • Provide a linear accumulation of x-rays resulting in further increases in brightness along very low take-off angles;
  • Enable the use of anode materials many of which were considered unfeasible as x-ray source materials (thereby enabling access to new x-ray spectra)
  • Empowers the incorporation of multiple microstructured regions of different materials for rapid switching between different x-ray energies within the same source

The FAAST-Micro X-ray Microbeam Delivery System

The benefits of the FAAST-MICRO source are further extended when it is paired with a double parabaloidal X-ray optic. This combination produces an X-ray beam that is more than 50X brighter compared to any other X-ray illumination beam system comprised of a conventional microfocus X-ray source and polycapillary optic.

The FAAST-Microbeam provides:

  • The smallest x-ray microbeam spot available – <8µm
  • Much brighter illumination at the sample, where it counts – >50X brighter than polycapillary systems
  • Multi energy capabilities. Dual or tri-energy sources providing ultimate performance and flexibility as well as a wider range of anode materials e.g. Ti, Cr, Fe, Cu, Ag, Mo, Rh, Au, Pt etc.
  • Large working distance that suits a wide range of applications – up to 50mm
  • Suitable for a range of applications requiring cutting edge performance e.g. high resolution microXRF mapping


Sigray’s FAAST-Micro X-ray source technology is used in systems like the AttoMap MicroXRF mapping system. Thanks to this technology, the Attomap offer the highest resolution and sensitivity of any lab-based microXRF on the market, with performance levels comparable to 3rd generation bending magnet synchrotron microprobes.

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