easyXAFS Delivers Benchtop-Ready X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure

CleanTech Innovation Showcase Presenting Company Recap: easyXAFS

By Nick Montoni

CleanTech Alliance Contributor

Dr. Devon Mortensen, CEO and cofounder of easyXAFS, wants you to know that the days of waiting years and years to use a synchrotron x-ray source are coming to an end. easyXAFS (XAFS stands for X-ray Absorption Fine Structure) is a company designing benchtop x-ray spectroscopy instruments for commercial and academic purposes. Dr. Mortensen presented at the 2017 CleanTech Innovation Showcase.

XAFS is a technique in which a chemical sample is irradiated with x-rays to determine its identity. The x-rays penetrate the material and excite or eject electrons held close and tight to the atoms in the sample, and the amount and energy of x-rays absorbed or re-emitted is characteristic to certain elements. XAFS is a useful technique for characterizing battery materials and catalysts as well as in studying environmental remediation processes and nuclear waste management and storage.

easyXAFS came about because synchrotron x-ray sources are inaccessible and not suited to small-scale experimentation or education. However, using a benchtop x-ray source, the user gets faster feedback and improved efficiency, allowing them to easily troubleshoot and get results faster. easyXAFS is hoping to sell each instrument for $75,000 to $300,000 with add-ons at around $5,000 to $10,000. Users will also have the ability to “mail-in-measurements.”

Dr. Mortensen and Professor Jerry Seidler of the University of Washington currently have the only business model addressing accessible and adaptable x-ray instruments. As a result, they have a unique opportunity to brand themselves as pioneers, as well as setting the tone of this part of the market.