PANalytical and CERN Collaboration Brings First Commercial Application of Medipix2

19 January 2008

The Medipix2 chip is a revolutionary photon counting X-ray detector, developed by the Medipix Collaboration. This project involves CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) and PANalytical as well as other leading research institutes including Nikhef, the National institute for subatomic physics in the Netherlands.

Medipix2 consists of a 300 µm silicon detector layer, which is attached to a pixel read-out chip with 256x256 55 µm square pixels. Medipix2 has applications ranging from materials analysis to medical imaging. Senior System Architect at PANalytical, Dr. Klaus Bethke, said: PANalytical's role in the Medipix2 Collaboration has been to transfer the technology from CERN and develop it into a product. With the introduction of the PIXcel detector we have reached this important milestone".

The original aim of the Medipix2 collaboration was to develop the system for medical imaging, such as mammography and heart investigations. However, one of the many advantages of the Medipix technology is that it has a very broad industrial relevance, with applications ranging from cement to pharmaceuticals.

PANalytical's PIXcel is designed for the most advanced X-ray diffraction applications. It delivers new levels of resolution and linearity and an unmatched dynamic range of 13 million counts per second per pixel row.

The company's work in developing PIXcel was recognized earlier this year, when Dr. Bethke was awarded a gold medal at the 35th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland. The jury awarded the prize for the pioneering work to develop the PIXcel detector and for the company's overall contribution to the Medipix2 collaboration.

For more details of the PIXcel detector and its application in PANalytical's X-ray diffractometers, visit:

High resolution image available from Trish Appleton, Kapler Communications quoting reference: PAN/JOB/319

Medipix2 collaboration

The Medipix2 collaboration was formed at the end of the 1990s with the aim of developing a hybrid pixel detector with a smaller pixel size and increased number of pixels per chip. The result is the Medipix2 chip - a high spatial, high contrast resolving CMOS pixel read-out chip working in single photon counting mode. It can be combined with different semiconductor sensors that convert X-rays directly into detectable electric signals. This represents a new solution for many X-ray and gamma ray counting and imaging applications.

About PANalytical

PANalytical is the world's leading supplier of analytical instrumentation and software for X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), with more than half a century of experience. The materials characterization equipment is used for scientific research and development, for industrial process control applications and for semiconductor metrology.

PANalytical, founded in 1948 as part of Philips, employs around 900 people worldwide. Its headquarters are in Almelo, the Netherlands. Fully equipped application laboratories are established in Japan, China, the USA, and the Netherlands.

PANalytical's research activities are based in Almelo (NL) and on the campus of the University of Sussex in Brighton (UK). Competence and supply centers are located on two sites in the Netherlands: Almelo (development and production of X-ray instruments) and Eindhoven (development and production of X-ray tubes). A sales and service network in more than 60 countries ensures unrivalled levels of customer support.

The company is certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001.

The product portfolio includes a broad range of XRD and XRF systems and software widely used for the analysis and materials characterization of products such as cement, metals and steel, nanomaterials, plastics, polymers and petrochemicals, industrial minerals, glass, catalysts, semiconductors, thin films and advanced materials, pharmaceutical solids, recycled materials and environmental samples.

Visit our website at for more information about our activities.

PANalytical is part of Spectris plc, the precision instrumentation and controls company.

For press information, please contact
Trish Appleton
Kapler Communications
Knowledge Centre
Wyboston Lakes, Wyboston
T: +44 (0) 1480 479280
F: +44 (0) 1480 470343

For more press and product information:
PANalytical, Branding and Communications Dept.
T: +31 (0) 546 534444
F: +31 (0) 546 534592

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