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    Radiation damage upon soft X-ray exposure is an important issue to be considered in soft X-ray microscopy. The work presented here is part of a more extended study on the topic and focuses on the effects of soft X-rays on paraffin, a common embedding medium for soft-tissues, and on ultralene and Si3N4 windows as sample supports. Our studies suggest that the sample environment indeed plays an important role in the radiation damage process and therefore should be carefully taken into account for the analysis and interpretation of new data. The radiation damage effects were followed over time using a combination of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and it was demonstrated that, for higher doses, an oxidation of both embedding medium and ultralene substrate takes place after the irradiated sample is exposed to air. This oxidation is reflected in a clear increase of C=O and O-H infrared bands and on the XRF oxygen maps, correlated with a decrease of the aliphatic infrared signal. The results also show that the oxidation process may affect quantitative evaluation of light element concentrations.


    Diana E Bedolla, Giovanni Birarda, Sabina Giannotta, Valentina Faoro, Alberto Cescato, Lisa Vaccari, Alessandra Gianoncelli. Oxidation of ultralene and paraffin due to radiation damage after exposure to soft X-rays probed by FTIR microspectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence. Journal of synchrotron radiation. 2021 Jan 01;28(Pt 1):231-239

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    PMID: 33399573

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