IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy (RBS)

Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) is a non-destructive analytical surface technique for the determination of the structure and composition of materials. RBS is based on the measurement of the backscattering of an energetic ion beam (typically protons or alpha particles of the MeV range) impinging on a sample. The energy of the backscattered particles depends on two parameters: i) the nature of the target atom (the heavier, the higher energy) and ii) its location from the surface (the incident particle loses energy in the material then is backscattered an loses energy again to get out of the material). The technique gives access to depth profile concentration of elements. It is particularly efficient for heavy elements on light substrates (gildings, lustred ceramics, ...)

Fields of application

  • Cultural heritage

    architecture, art, decorative arts, demo anthropologic object, film, manuscript, mosaics, musical instrument, other, painting, papyrus, photo, sculpture, textile, archaeological object

  • Natural heritage

    animal product, botanic collection, fossil, mineral, object in formalin, other, shell, skeleton, taxidermy collection


  • inorganic

    glass, stone, metal and metallurgical By-Products, ceramic (clay, mud brick, terracotta, earthenware, stoneware, porcelain), pigment

  • organic

    wood, paper, textiles, parchment


Scanning Nuclear Microprobe

The Oxford type scanning nuclear microprobe is operated at one of the beamlines of our particle accelerator. The beam diameter is about 1-3 microns for the usual applications in vacuum. The microprobe is equipped with a 5-axis goniometer (X-Y-Z translations and two rotations, to move the sample into the required position), optical microscope, cameras and...

Contact person
Zita Szikszai
Archive image

Type and energy of particles: protons or deuterons from 1 to 4MeV or Alphas from 2 to 6MeV. Beam size: down to 20µm. Single spot or mapping on areas up to cm²-sized area (max 20x20cm²). RBS system: 1 or 2 detectors at 130° or 150°. Resolution : a ten of µm for Protons, few µms...