A portable system has been recently developed; it combines x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques, allowing simultaneous elemental analysis and phase identification of inorganic materials. A low power (30 W) air-cooled Cu anode x-ray source is used, equipped with a polycapillary semi-lens to provide a parallel x-ray beam. The system has been designed without mechanical movements and its configuration allows the analysis of objects with arbitrary shapes; the instrument is particularly suitable for material identification in cultural heritage applications where artefacts are non-moveable, and/or exhibit irregular surfaces and shapes.

In this article, we present the design of the instrument and the first test measurements. In particular, our results show that it is possible to identify the main crystalline phases present in the samples and to perform the analysis in relatively short times, from 30 min to 1 or 2 h. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.