Doctorate in Applied and Engineering Physics  

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Thesis Proposal for the

Doctorate Program in Applied and Engineering Physics (DAEPHYS)

Starting in the Academic Year 2016/2017


Proposal 005


Title:Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis imaging – Development and applications
 
Objectives (recommended length: 2000-3000 char):
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) techniques, including analysis and imaging, are nowadays used in several
research fields and industrial applications. Among these techniques, energy dispersive X-ray
fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis is well-known for elemental identification and quantification.
Recently, EDXRF imaging (EDXRFI), or mapping, has become a promising method to obtain
positional distribution of specific elements in a nondestructive manner. EDXRFI can be used in
several applications of many different fields such as geology, archaeology, electronics and life
sciences.
To obtain the elemental distribution of a sample it is necessary to use instruments that provide a
precise positioning together with a good energy resolution. One possibility is the detectors based on
the silicon drift chamber principle (SDD) included in several commercial systems such as the recent
state of art M4 TORNADO Micro X-ray Fluorescence system by Brucker. Following the growing
development in the area of gaseous radiation detectors, triggered by the evolving printed circuit
technology, new concepts of gaseous radiation detectors that enable a 2D detection emerged in the
last years, namely the newly 2D-Micro-Hole and Strip Plate (MHSP) developed in the Universidade
de Aveiro.
The aim of this work is to characterize the EDXRFI system based on a 2D-MHSP in terms of spatial
and energy resolution, as well as energy linearity, and compare the results with those obtained with
the M4 TORNADO to infer its performance in EDXRFI life science applications.
Within this framework, it will be devoted special attention to the trace elemental analysis in cancerous
and noncancerous human tissues. There have been detectable variations in the concentrations of
trace elements in normal and cancerous tissues suggesting that these variations could be an
inductive factor to cancer. The trace elements, even though play an important role in several
biological processes, could be toxic elements that contribute to the rate of the reactive oxygen
species (ROS) and formation of complexities in the body cells, which may lead to DNA damage that
are linked to cell apoptosis and mutagenesis. The EDXRFI technique it would be also applied in forensic studies.
The required equipment already exists in the Departments of Physics of the Universidade Nova de
Lisboa (UNL) and Universidade de Aveiro (UA).
 
Framework (recommended length: 500-2000 char):
The required equipment already exists in the Departments of Physics of the Universidade Nova de
Lisboa (UNL) and Universidade de Aveiro (UA). This work is partially supported by FCT through the
project PUID/FIS/04559/2013 (LIBPhys).
 
Tasks (recommended length: 1000-3000 char):
1. Bibliographic study of the available EDXRFI systems
2. Treatment of the cancerous and noncancerous human tissues
3. Analysis of the human tissues samples with the M4 Tornado System
4. Analysis of the human tissues samples with the 2D-MHSP System
5. Comparison of the results and conclusions
6. Analysis of the forensic samples with the M4 Tornado System
7. Analysis of the forensic samples with the 2D-MHSP System
8. Comparison of the results and conclusions
9. Dissertation writing
 
Research centre/lab or R&D unit hosting the thesis project:
Department of Physics, UNL and Department of Physics, UA
 
University to which the thesis project will be presented:
UNL - Universidade Nova de Lisboa
 
DAEPHYS Scientific Domain in which the project fits:
Instrumentation
 
Relation of the project to the Scientific Domains of DAEPHYS:
The project fits into the theme of instrumentation since it aims the development of an X-ray
spectrometer.
 
Candidate profile:
Physics, Physics Engineering and Biomedical Engineering
 
Does this proposal involve more than one University?:
yes
 
Synergies between the two Universities participating in the proposal:
DAEPHYS strongly encourages the presentation of thesis projects in co-supervision by researchers from two of the universities participating in the Program. In this field, explain the benefits resulting from the proposed co-supervision and the involvement of elements from the two universities, e.g. building critical mass teams, profiting from existing infrastructures or advanced equipments, profiting from expert technical know-how, etc. If the proposal involves only one University, write n/a.
(recommended length: 500-1000 char)
: Both supervisors have a long experience in the proposed field and have maintained an active collaboration in the past 20 years leading to many joint publications.

This project will contribute to strengthen the collaboration between both teams, by sharing both expertise and equipment, which is essential to the success of the proposal.
 
Does this proposal involve a company?:
no
 
Proposals involving a company:
DAEPHYS strongly encourages the presentation of thesis projects involving a company, preferably a high-tech company. These proposals have to: 1) be centered on a technological problem in which the partner company has been (or plan / would like to be) involved; 2) have a co-supervisor on the enterprise; 3) include part of the project to be carried out in the company.
(recommended length: 500-1000 char)
:

 

Supervisor

Name:José Paulo Santos
Institution:UNL
email:jps@fct.unl.pt
 
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5890-0971

 

Co-Supervisor

Name:João Veloso
Institution:UA
email:joao.veloso@ua.pt
 
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7107-7203

 

Co-Supervisor

Name:Maria Luisa Carvalho
Institution:UNL
email:luisa.carvalho@fct.unl.pt
 
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9004-1134

 

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