Robin Kirkham is a material scientist and a member of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) – the national government body for scientific research in Australia. He and D. Peter Siddons have been responsible for the collaboration between the CSIRO and Brookhaven National Laboratory in the development of the Maia x-ray microprobe elemental imaging system — a high-throughput x-ray fluorescence detector system which – when combined with a focused x-ray source such as the Australian Synchrotron’s x-ray fluorescence microprobe (XFM) beamline – is able to produce high-definition, quantitative elemental images with microscopic or nanoscopic detail in real-time.
Maia was developed to meet the challenge to capture spatial detail over four orders of magnitude from the micron scale to the scale of a few centimetres in complex natural and manmade samples encountered in research using the synchrotron in the biological, geological, materials and environmental sciences, medicine and cultural heritage.
Recently, Maia won a prestigious R&D 100 Award, presented by the US-based R&D Magazine, ‘to salute the 100 most technologically significant products from around the world introduced into the marketplace in the past year’.
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