Microfocus Sealed Tube Technology

The concept of using a microfocus X-ray sealed tube source in combination with X-ray optics for diffraction experiments was first pioneered by U. Arndt (MRC-LMB, Cambridge) in the early 90’s. However, despite its impressive intensity, this first-generation microfocus source found limited acceptance due to relatively poor stability and short tube lifetimes.

The second-generation microfocus source, the IμS introduced by INCOATEC in 2006, replaced the inefficient metal total reflection optics used in the first-generation sources with modern multilayer optics. This combination finally achieved a high brilliance, stable, long lifetime microfocus source. Because of these advantages the microfocus source has since become the standard source for laboratory crystallography with far moe than 1200 IμS installations worldwide.


In 2015 INCOATEC introduced the IμS 3.0. This source incorporates the first generation of microfocus tubes completely designed and manufactured by Incoatec. Optimization of the take-off angle and the filament properties of the IµS 3.0 leads to an increase of the X-ray intensity by more than a factor of two compared to conventional NDT microfocus tubes and makes the IµS 3.0 the first microfocus source optimized for X-ray diffraction applications.

The IμS DIAMOND, introduced in 2019, is the top-end member of the IµS family. While keeping the benefits of the IµS 3.0 in place the IµS DIAMOND’s unique hybrid diamond anode enables a significantly improved heat management leading to a typically five times higher X-ray intensity compared to conventional microfocus tubes.