Laatste wijziging: March 09 2012 13:27:54.

XMI members

On 1 February, 2012, the X-ray Microspectroscopy and Imaging Group consists of the following members.

  Prof. dr. Laszlo Vincze


Scientific background: Physicist (PhD)

Special interests: XRF spectroscopy, XRF imaging, XRF spectrometer design, X-ray methods, Monte Carlo methods for XRF, Ray-tracing for capillary optics

Current status: tenured academic staff member (BOF-ZAP) of the Department of Analytical Chemistry at Ghent University, Belgium. Head of the X-ray microspectroscopy and imaging (XMI).research group.

Scientific career: Laszlo Vincze has obtained his PhD at the University of Antwerp at the MITAC centre, where he specialised in methodological developments and applications of quantitative of micro-XRF spectroscopy using conventional and synchrotron radiation sources. Since October 2004 he is a tenured academic staff member (BOF-ZAP) of the Department of Analytical Chemistry at Ghent University, where he started his own μ-spectroscopy and imaging group.



  • Three-Dimensional Fe Speciation of an Inclusion Cloud within an Ultradeep Diamond by Confocal µ-X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure: Evidence for Late Stage Overprint.
    G. Silversmit, B. Vekemans, K. Appel, S. Schmitz, T. Schoonjans, F.E. Brenker, F. Kaminsky, L. Vincze, L, ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, Vol. 83, Issue: 16, 6294-6299, 2011.
  • Elemental compositions of comet 81P/Wild 2 samples collected by Stardust.
    G. J. Flynn, P. Bleuet, J. Borg, J. P. Bradley, et al., SCIENCE, 314, 5806, 1731-1735 (2006)
  • Research article – Comet 81P/Wild 2 under a microscope.
    D. Brownlee, P. Tsou, J. Aleon, et al. SCIENCE, 314, 5806, 1711-1716 (2006)
  • Three-dimensional trace element analysis by confocal X-ray microfluorescence imaging.
    L. Vincze, B. Vekemans, F. E. Brenker, G. Falkenberg, et al., ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 76, 22, 6786-6791 (2004)
  • Quantitative trace element analysis of individual fly ash particles by means of X-ray microfluorescence.
    L. Vincze, A. Somogyi, J. Osan, B. Vekemans, et al., ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 74, 5, 1128- (2002)
  • Suitability of polycapillary optics for focusing of monochromatic synchrotron radiation as used in trace level micro-XANES measurements.
    L. Vincze, F. Wei, K. Proost, B. Vekemans, et al., JOURNAL OF ANALYTICAL ATOMIC SPECTROMETRY, 17, 3, 177-182 (2002)
  • Detailed ray-tracing code for capillary optics.
    L. Vincze, K. Janssens, F. Adams, et al., X-RAY SPECTROMETRY, 24, 27-37, (1995)
  • A general monte-carlo simulation of energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometers .1. Unpolarized radiation, homogeneous samples.
    L. Vincze, K. Janssens, F. Adams, SPECTROCHIMICA ACTA PART B-ATOMIC SPECTROSCOPY 48, 553-573, (1993)

  Dr. Bart Vekemans


Scientific background: Chemist (PhD), Informatician (Bijz. Lic.)

Special interests: XRF spectroscopy, XRF imaging, XRF spectrometer design, X-ray methods and methodology, Cultural Heritage, Raman data analysis, data analysis on combined Raman and XRF data, Chemometrics, multivariate data analysis

Current status: Post-doc in the UGent-XMI group

Scientific career: Bart Vekemans has obtained his PhD in 2000 at the University of Antwerp at the MITAC centre, where he specialised in microscopic XRF analysis as member of the XMBA group of Prof. Koen Janssens. The title of his doctoral thesis is 'Microscopic X-ray Fluorescence Analysis : Instrument Construction and Method Development'. He joined the UGent-XMI group on May 1, 2007 as post-doc.

As a PhD student, and later as a post-doc, he participated in many experiments at different synchrotron facilities (HASYLAB beamline L in Hamburg Germany, ESRF ID13, ID18F and ID22 in Grenoble, France, ANKA Fluo beamline in Karlsruhe Germany) performing X-ray based methods such as XRF microanalysis, XRF tomography, confocal XRF imaging, micro-XRD, micro-XANES, confocal XANES. During these experiments a wide range of samples were studied including investigation of trace elements in glass, study of REEs in fossilized bones, application of XRF tomography to visualize trace elements within sediment particles and zeolites, confocal XRF imaging of inclusions in natural diamonds, characterization of material from NASA’s Stardust mission, etc.

As a result of the development of dedicated spectrum evaluation tools for XRF, he introduced the so-called MICROXRF2 code to various SR-XRF stations, including HASYLAB beamline L, ESRF ID18F and the ANKA Fluo beamlines, where experimentalists can use this code to evaluate and to visualize online the XRF data being acquired.



  • Identification of Inorganic Pigments Used in Porcelain Cards Based on Fusing Raman and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Data.
    A. Deneckere, L. de Vries, B. Vekemans, L. Van de Voorde, F. Ariese, L. Vincze, L. Moens, P. Vandenabeele.
    APPLIED SPECTROSCOPY, 65, 11, 1281-1290 (2011)
  • Processing of three-dimensional microscopic X-ray fluorescence data.
    B. Vekemans, L. Vincze, F. E. Brenker, F. Adams,
  • Quantitative X-ray fluorescence analysis at the ESRF ID18F microprobe.
    B. Vekemans, L. Vincze, A. Somogyi, M. Drakopoulos, et al.
  • Automated segmentation of mu-XRF image sets.
    B.Vekemans, K. Janssens, L. Vincze, A. Aerts, et al., X-RAY SPECTROMETRY, 26, 6, 333-346 (1997)
  • Analysis of X-ray spectra by iterative least-squares (AXIL) – New developments.
    B. Vekemans; K. Janssens, L.Vincze, F. Adams, et al., X-RAY SPECTROMETRY, 23, 6 278-285 (1994)

  Dr. Bjorn De Samber


Scientific background: Chemist (MSc)

Special interests: XRF spectroscopy, CT, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, sample preparation, micro/nano-analysis of biological samples, LA-ICPMS

Current status: Visiting postdoctoral researcher at the "P06 Hard X-ray Micro/Nanoprobe" at PETRAIII, Hamburg, Germany.

Scientific career: Björn De Samber was born in Waregem (1984), Belgium. He obtained his Master degree in Chemistry at Ghent University. He spent his first master year at Faculté des Sciences et Technologies, Bordeaux (2004-2005). During this stay, he performed research in the field of photomagnetism at the "Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée (ICMCB)" under guidance of Prof. Dr. Philippe Bopp and Corine Mathonière. For his Master thesis, he returned to Belgium to perform research in the "Atomic and Mass Spectrometry (AMS)" research group of Prof. Dr. Frank Vanhaecke with as subject 'Metabolite study of a bromine containing drug against tuberculosis using HPLC-ICPMS'. After his Master thesis research (2007), his interests shifted from speciation of trace metals in biological samples using HPLC-ICPMS towards the spatially resolved detection, identification and quantification of trace level metals within biological model organisms using Synchrotron Radiation Micro X-ray Fluorescence (XRF). After gaining hands-on training at the HASYLAB (Hamburger Synchrotronstrahlungslabor) Summer Student Programme at Beamline L performing XANES/EXAFS and 2D/CT micro-XRF and radiography on biological samples, he started a PhD in 2006 as "Aspirant" of the Reseach Foundation Flanders (FWO) investigating the metal distribution within biological model organisms using X-ray Spectroscopy under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Laszlo Vincze and Prof. Dr. Frank Vanhaecke. His interests further developed towards the coupling of micro absorption CT with 2D/CT/confocal micro-XRF to investigate the tissue-specific accumulation of metals. His current interests also include the speciation of trace level metals in biological samples using confocal micro XANES/EXAFS, sample preparation techniques/cryogenic tools for biological samples intended for X-ray analyses, LA-ICPMS as a tool to analyse the metal distributions in biological samples, and since recently the nanochemical imaging of the intra- and intercellular metal distribution in biological specimens using third generation synchrotron sources.



  • A combination of synchrotron and laboratory X-ray techniques for studying tissue-specific trace level metal distributions in Daphnia magna.
    B. De Samber, R. Evens, K. De Schamphelaere, G. Silversmit, et al., JOURNAL OF ANALYTICAL ATOMIC SPECTROMETRY, 23, 6, 829-839 (2008)

  Dr. Tom Schoonjans


Scientific background: Chemist (PhD)

Special interests: XRF spectroscopy, XRF imaging, XRF quantification methodology, software development, Monte-Carlo simulations for XRF analysis, computing system management

Current status: Post-doc in the UGent-XMI group

Scientific career: After obtaining a Master degree in Chemistry in 2006 at Ghent University (Thesis subject: Interpretation of Raman spectra by means of calibration lines derived through quantum chemical methods), Tom Schoonjans started a PhD at XMI in October 2006. On January 27, 2012, he defended his PhD thesis "Three dimensional quantitative X-ray fluorescence (XRF) at the micro- and nanoscopic level: methodological development and applications", which was carried out in collaboration with the GeoScience group of the University of Frankfurt (Prof. Dr. Frank Brenker) and the Data Analysis group of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Dr. Claudio Ferrero). It focused on the development of a quantification method for confocal micro/nano XRF based on the fundamental parameter method, and on a quantification method for conventional XRF using Monte Carlo simulations. The former was applied to a set of unique cometary dust samples returned to Earth by NASA's Stardust mission.

The quantification software depends on xraylib, a software library for X-ray-matter interactions that was significantly extended with new databases and features. His software is released under open-source licenses and is available at GitHub.



  • The xraylib library for X-ray-matter interactions. Recent developments
    T. Schoonjans, A. Brunetti, B. Golosio, M. Sanchez del Rio, V. A. Solé, C. Ferrero, and L. Vincze, SPECTROCHIMICA ACTA PART B, 66, 11-12, 776-784 (2011)
  • Fundamental parameter based quantification algorithm for confocal nano-X-ray fluorescence analysis
    T. Schoonjans, G. Silversmit, B. Vekemans, S. Schmitz, M. Burghammer, C. Riekel, F. E. Brenker, and L. Vincze, SPECTROCHIMICA ACTA PART B, in press (2012)

  Msc. Lien Van de Voorde


Scientific background:Chemist (MSc)

Special interests: X-ray fluorescence imaging

Current status: PhD Student, assistent

Scientific career: Lien became the first female member of the XMI group. She obtained her Master degree in Chemistry in 2009 at the Ghent University. She did her Master Thesis at the Department of Organic Chemistry, NMR group, also at the Ghent University. Lien Van de Voorde joined the X-ray Micro-spectroscopy and Imaging group as an assistant since September 2009. She will focus her research on the X-ray based analyses of natural objects (like insects trapped in amber), art and cultural heritage. Preliminary results are obtained by using the EAGLE III, our laboratory µ-XRF scanning instrument. She also uses synchrotron facilities to perform µ-X-ray fluorescence, confocal µ-X-ray fluorescence and confocal µ-X-ray absorption spectroscopy. As assitant she guides practical exercises to students in Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, ... .



Ir. Jan Garrevoet

Scientific background: Civil Engineer

Special interests: XRF imaging, XRF spectrometer design and associated software development, X-ray methods

Current status: IWT PhD student

Scientific career: Jan Garrevoet obtained 2 master degrees in engineering (2008 and 2010) at Ghent University with the thesis subjects: "Research towards second generation fuels based upon 1,2,3-propanetriol adducts" and "Combination of RAFT and Thiolene towards functional polymers". He successfully obtained the IWT grant for his PhD project in December 2010. He has the specific task work on XRF (imaging) methodology including designing and building new XRF spectrometers, software development, etc.




MSc. Eva Vergucht

Scientific background: Chemist (MSc.)

Special interests: XRF spectroscopy, micro/nano X-ray fluorescence imaging, micro/nano X-ray fluorescence tomography, biological model organisms, optical tweezers, cryogenic conditions, LA-ICP-MS

Current status : IWT PhD student

Scientific career: Eva Vergucht obtained her Master degree in Chemistry at Ghent University in 2011. Her Master thesis ‘Imaging of the distribution of actinides in human tissues using LA-ICP-MS and SR micro-XRF’ was awarded with the UDIAS Student Award of 2011 for the promotion of instrumental analysis (see

She successfully obtained the IWT grant for her PhD project in December 2011. For her PhD, Eva will focus on the establishment of two specialized sample measurement environments for micro/nano XRF imaging of biological model organisms that are used as environmental bio-indicators. The two specialized sample environments involve (1) the use of laser-based optical tweezers for real free-standing sample manipulation and (2) the application of a state-of-the-art cryochamber for the investigation of biological samples under cryogenic conditions. The proposed methodologies will enable the non-destructive nano-analysis of biological model organisms (e.g., blue mussel Mytilus Edulis) close to their natural in-vivo state while eliminating the need for any time-consuming and error-prone biological sample preparation. These methodological developments will be performed in collaboration with 3rd generation synchrotron facilities: microfocus beamline ID13 (ESRF, Grenoble, France) and the new Hard X-ray Micro/Nanoprobe P06 (DESY, Hamburg, Germany).




Ass. Dra. Melissa Vandevijvere

Scientific background: Conservator - Restorer

Special interests: Ceramics, Lustre, (Antwerp) Majolica

Current status: PhD Student in Conservation (Artesis University College Antwerp), Lecturer Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp 'Conservation Studies'

Scientific career: Melissa obtained her Master degree in Conservation and Restoration at the Artesis University College Antwerp in 2008 with specialization in ceramics art. For her Master thesis "Revival of the lustre technique at the end of the 19th century – 20th century by William De Morgen in England, research into technology and the conservation-restoration" she conceived the 1st price for Conservation and Restoration of 'Arenberg 2008' (Certificate Arenberg 2008).

Since 2008 she is lecturer at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp 'Conservation Studies' were she is head for the Ceramics Conservation Studio. Since 2009 she is also working as an independent restorer of ceramics in projects of the Archaeological Department of Antwerp, the Museum Sterckshof in Antwerp and other private clients.
Melissa Vandevijvere started her PhD in 2010 in Conservation and Restoration with the subject "Antwerp majolica tiles from the 16th - 17th century: Material technical aspects and the link with Degradation and Conservation". For the investigation of the chemical aspects of the historical material she is particularly interested in the composition of the clay, glaze and pigments used for the production of these ancient majolica tiles. This multidisciplinary work is promoted by Prof. P. Van Espen (University of Antwerp), Prof. J. Caen (Artesis University College Antwerp), and Prof. L. Vincze (Ghent University).


Former members



Dr. Geert Silversmit

Scientific background: Physicist (PhD)

Special interests: XAS (XANES & EXAFS), XRF spectroscopy, XRF imaging, XRF and XAS spectrometer design

Current status: UGent employee, scientific staff

Scientific career: Geert Silversmit obtained his masters degree in Physics in 1999 at the Ghent University within the Department of Subatomic and Radiation Physics. The title of his licentiat thesis was 'Transitiestraling voor diagnose van intense elektronenbundels' (Diagnosis of intens electron beams with transition radiation), promotor: Prof. Dr. ir.; W. Mondelaers. For his PhD study Geert moved to the Department of Solid State Sciences of the Ghent University. During his experimental PhD work he studied supported vanadium oxide systems with especially X-ray photelectron spectroscopy (XPS, synchrotron UPS) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS: XANES & EXAFS). Consequently, the title of his doctoral thesis was 'Gedragen vanadiumoxidesystemen bestudeerd met foto-elektronen en X-stralenabsorptiespectroscopie' (Supported vanadium oxide systems studied by X-ray photelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy). Since October 2006 he joined the X-ray Micro-spectroscopy and Imaging group as a FWO post-Doc. His specific task within the group is to broaden the μ-XRF activities of the group towards conventional μ- and confocal μ-X-ray absorption spectroscopy. He left the XMI group in 2011, and joined the UGent Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science.



  • Polycapillary optics based µ-XANES and µ-EXAFS at a third generation bending magnet beamline
    G. Silversmit, B. Vekemans, S. Nikitenko, W. Bras, et al., JOURNAL OF SYNCHROTRON RADIATION, 16, 237-246 (2009)
  • The structure of supported and unsupported vanadium oxide under calcination, reduction and oxidation determined with XAS
    G. Silversmit, J. A. Van Bokhoven, H. Poelman, A. M. J. Van Der Eerden, et al., APPLIED CATALYSIS A-GENERAL, 285, 1-2, 151-162 (2005)
  • Determination of the V2p XPS binding energies for different vanadium oxidation states (V5+ to V0+)
    G. Silversmit, D. Depla, H. Poelman, G. Marin, et al., JOURNAL OF ELECTRON SPECTROSCOPY AND RELATED PHENOMENA, 135, 2-3, 167-175 (2004)