Multilayered samples reconstructed by measuring Kα/K β or Lα/Lβ X-ray intensity ratios by EDXRF

Roberto Cesareo, Joaquim T. De Assis, Clodoaldo Roldán, Angel D. Bustamante, Antonio Brunetti, Nick Schiavon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Abstract In this paper a general method based on energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis has been tested to assess its possible use as a tool to reconstruct the structure and determine the thickness of two and/or multi-layered materials. The method utilizes the X-ray intensity ratios of Kα/Kβ or Lα/Lβ peaks (or the ratio of these peaks) for selected elements present in multi-layered objects of various materials (Au alloys, gilded Cu, gilded Ag, gilded Pb, Ag-Au Tumbaga, stone surfaces with protective treatments, Zn or Nickel plating on metals). Results show that, in the case of multi-layered samples, a correct calculation of the peak ratio (Kα /K β and/or Lα/Lβ) of relevant elements from energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectra, can provide important information in assessing the exact location of each layer and for calculating its thickness. The methodological approach shown may have important applications not only in materials science but also when dealing with the conservation and restoration of multi-layered cultural heritage objects where the use of a Non-Destructive techniques to determine slight chemical and thickness variations in the layered structure is often of paramount importance to achieve the best results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by the CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Programma Finalizzato “Beni Culturali”).

Funding Information:
The research has been supported by: Regione Sardegna, “Progetto di ricerca di base Legge 7/2007, Bando 2008, Studio e realizzazione di sistemi di calcolo scientifico paralleli a basso costo basati su processori grafici, CUP: J71J10000070002”.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence
  • Gilded alloys
  • K/K and L/L - ratios
  • Pigment layers
  • Silvered alloys
  • Tools


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