Glossary - Applications


Analytical X-Ray

is the use of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and various other X-Ray techniques to explore the properties and composition of materials.

Arc Lamps

are a type of lamp that creates light via the use of an electric arc. Two electrodes are separated by a gas (mercury, argon, krypton, etc) which is ionized by a high voltage source creating a continuous electric arc that emits visible light.

Automated Test Equipment (ATE)

are specialized automated validation devices that are used to test integrated circuits, printed circuit boards or other types of electronic devices or assemblies.


Baggage Screening

is the inspection of commercial and personal baggage to locate contraband substances using X-Ray analysis and other inspection techniques.

Bone Densitometry

is a medical X-Ray technique used to measure the amount of matter per square centimeter of human bone for the prediction and treatment of Osteoporosis.

Bomb Detection Systems

are automated Explosive Detection Systems (EDS) that use a variety of analytical technologies to inspect baggage for possible bomb or explosive threats.


Cable Testing

is an inspection technique using voltage and current from a power source to verify the electrical connections in a cable or wired electrical assembly.

Capacitor Charging

uses a high voltage power supply to charge a capacitor for pulsed power applications.

Capillary Electrophoresis (CE)

is an analytic technique used to separate and identify ions by their charge, frictional forces and mass in a conductive liquid medium.

Cargo Screening

is the inspection of bulk freight to locate contraband substances using X-Ray analysis and other inspection techniques.

CT Scanner Power Supplies

are specialized high voltage power supplies custom designed and fabricated to power high powered medical X-Ray tubes used in Computerized Axial Tomography applications.

Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT)

are cone shaped vacuum tubes containing an electron gun and used to display graphical information and moving images on a fluorescent screen.

Channel Electron Multipliers

are vacuum tube structures that multiply incident charge, allowing a single electron to produce a cascading effect of many, many more electrons using a process called secondary emission.


is a trade name of a specific type of channel electron multiplier, see Channel Electron Multipliers for more details.

Cold Cathode Lamps

are a type of lamp that creates amplified secondary electron emission without the use of heated filament (thermionic emission).

CO2 Lasers

are continuous wave gas lasers using carbon dioxide gas as their principal pumping media which have a fundamental output wavelength of 9.4 to 10.6 micrometers.

Corona Generators

are devices containing a high voltage power supply specifically designed to ionize air to create corona. Typically this process is used to generate ozone which is used for various industrial cleaning and purification applications.

CT Generators

see CT Scanner Power Supplies.


Dielectric Breakdown Testing

is a process of applying a high level test voltage to a cable or assembly to see at what voltage level the insulation will fail.

Digital X-Ray Detector Panel

uses an X-Ray imaging technology that can create digital X-Ray images without the use of traditional X-Ray film and developing requirements.


E-Beam Lithography

is a technique of scanning a beam of electrons in a patterned method used as part of the elaborate process to fabricate integrated circuits in semiconductor fabrication facilities.

E-Beam Welding

is a fusing process where an energetic beam of electrons transfer their kinetic energy as heat upon impacting two metal surfaces, melting the materials together.

E-Beam Evaporation

is a coating process where an electron beam melts materials (insulators or conductors) in a vacuum, causing the material to transfer to a gaseous phase, coating everything in the vacuum chamber with a very fine and controllable mist.


is a branch of science where materials optical properties can be influences by the application of an electric field.

Electron Microscopes

use a fine beam of electrons to electronically magnify images of a specimen. Without the inherent limitations of the wavelength of light, electron microscopes can magnify up to one million times.

Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis (ESCA)

is a quantitative spectroscopic technique that measures the elemental composition, empirical formula, chemical and electronic state of the elements that exist within a material.


is the motion of dispersed particles relative to a fluid under the influence of a uniform electric field.


is a process that causes a significant increase in the electrical conductivity and permeability of the cell plasma membrane caused by an externally applied electrical field.


is the creation of nano-scaled fibers from an electrically charged liquid. Complex molecules can be accommodated making this well suited for biological fabrication techniques.

Electrostatic Chucks

are clamping work stage devices used in semiconductor fabrication facilities that utilize electrostatic forces to hold a silicon wafer in place during processing.

Electrostatic Discharge Testing (ESD)

is the use of high voltage power supplies along with other equipment to simulate the effects of electrostatic charge build up and discharge on electronic equipment and components.

Electrostatic Flocking

is the electrostatically driven application of fine particles to an adhesive coated surface. Typical flock consists of finely cut natural or synthetic fibers of varying size and color.

Electrostatic Lenses

is a focusing device that uses the principles of electrostatics to influence the movement of charged particles.

Electrostatic Oilers

are industrial oil spraying apparatus that uses electrostatics to accurately apply oil to desired surfaces.

Electrostatic Precipitators

are particulate collection systems that remove particles from a flowing gas using the principles of electrostatic attraction.

Electrostatic Printing

is a printing or copying process where electrostatic forces are used to form the graphical image in powder or ink directly on the surface to be printed.

Electrostatic Separators

are sorting devices used in mining or waste recovery applications that use electrostatic forces to separate a mixed composition material stream into its individual components.

Elemental Analyzers

are devices utilizing X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology to determine the composition of raw materials as a quality check in various industrial manufacturing processes.

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF)

is an analytical spectroscopy technique used for elemental analysis via interactions between electromagnetic radiation and matter, where X-Rays emitted by the matter are analyzed in response to being hit with charged particles.

Explosive Detection Systems (EDS)

see Bomb Detection Systems.


Flash Lamps

are electric glow discharge lamps which produce extremely intense, full-spectrum white light for very short durations.

Flight Simulators

are complex electro-mechanical systems that replicate the experience of flying an aircraft for training purposes. Specialized CRT projectors are frequently used to provide overlapping wide screen displays for realistic visual imagery.

Focused Ion Beam Mask Repair (FIB)

Optical Projection Lithography Masks are used in semiconductor processing, as they are the base patterning device of the IC chip.  Defects in masks can be fixed via the use of specialized repair equipment utilizing a very fine focused ion beam.

Fill Level Inspection

is the process of using automated X-Ray based inspection systems for the verification of properly filled containers typically used in the industrial processing of food.

Food Inspection

consists of X-Ray inspection techniques that check industrial processed food for bone fragments and foreign contaminants.


Gamma Cameras

are devices used to image gamma radiation emitting radioisotopes, a technique known as Scintigraphy.

Gamma Detectors

work by the interaction of a gamma ray with the scintillator material. This interaction produces low-energy light which is then collected and amplified by a photomultiplier tube.

Gel Electrophoresis

is a separation technique used for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), or protein molecules using an electric field applied to a gel matrix.


High Voltage Dividers

are precision strings of high voltage resistors terminated with a low end scaling resistor that provides a proportional low voltage signal that is easily measurable.

High Voltage Measurement

is the safe technique of making accurate measurements of high voltage signals using high voltage dividers, high impedance meters and applicable corona suppression equipment.

High Voltage Packaging

is the technique of high voltage design for industrial fabrication taking into account all variables like corona suppression, insulation prerequisites, breakdown and tracking requirements and material compatibility concerns.

Hi Pot Testing

is a process of applying a test voltage to a cable or assembly to confirm it can withstand a particular voltage standoff level.

Hollow Cathode Lamps (HCL)

are specialized optical lamps used as a spectral line source frequency tuner for light sources such as lasers.


Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP)

is a type of mass spectrometry capable of determining of a range of metals and non-metals at very low concentrations. This technique is based on inductively coupled plasma used as a method of producing ions with a mass spectrometer detector.

Ion Beam

is a particle beam comprised of ions

Ion Beam Implantation

is a process used in semiconductor manufacturing in which ions of a desired material can be implanted into another solid via a high energy ion beam, thereby changing the physical properties of the target material.

Ion Milling

utilizes a high voltage source to ionize low pressure gasses, accelerating and neutralizing them creating a neutral beam of atoms which bombard samples and removes material via a kinetic or chemical process.

Ion Sources

are electro-magnetic devices used to create charged particles.

Ionization Chambers

are the simplest of all gas-filled radiation detectors which are used for the detection and measurement of ionizing radiation.

Image Intensifiers

are vacuum tube devices that increase the intensity of available light in optical systems; fluoresce materials sensitive to X-Ray/Gamma rays radiation; or convert non-visible light to visible spectrum light.

Impulse Generators

are electrical devices which produce very short pulse of high voltage or high current by discharging capacitors in series, parallel or series/ parallel configurations for impulse testing.

Industrial Color Printing

see Electrostatic Printing.

Industrial CT

is an inspection process for industrial applications utilizing the principles of Computerized Axial Tomography.

Industrial Magnetrons

are used in large scale microwave heating equipment in applications such as industrial cooking, powder drying and the vulcanization of rubber.


Land Based Power Feed Equipment (PFE) for Telecommunications

consist of sophisticated, redundant, highly reliable high voltage power supplies specifically designed and fabricated to power undersea fiber optic Telecommunications cables.


are devices that create and amplify a narrow, intense beam of coherent light.

Leak Detectors

are mass spectrometer based devices that can sense specific gases down to very low concentration levels.


is a medical procedure that uses shock waves to break up calcifications in the kidney, bladder, or urethra.



are high power vacuum tubes that utilize a stream of electrons within a magnetic field reinforced by resonant cavity amplification to produce high frequency radiation.


is a medical testing procedure using X-Rays to image human breast tissue for the purpose of screening and diagnosing breast cancer.

Marx Generators

are a type of impulse generator, see Impulse Generators.

Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry (MALDI)

is a specific mass spectrometry technique used for the analysis of bimolecular and large organic molecules which would be destroyed if ionized by conventional ionization methods.

Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time Of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF)

see Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry (MALDI).

Medical Oncology

is the use of radiotherapy (ionizing radiation) for the treatment of malignant cancer.

Medical Irradiation

see Medical Oncology

Medical Sterilization

is the use of Gamma radiation to disinfect packaged medical devices and products such as implants, diagnostic kits, catheters and infusion sets.

Microchannel Plate Detectors

are devices used for detection of electrons, ions, ultraviolet radiation and X-Rays. Similar to an electron multiplier, they operate via the principle of secondary emission.

Microwave Generators

see Magnetrons


Spellman High Voltage Electronics registered trademarked name for a series of turnkey X-Ray Sources comprised of a high voltage power supply, filament power supply, control electronics and integrated X-Ray tube packaged in a simple, cost effective assembly used in various security, medical and industrial X-Ray analysis applications.


Neutron Generators

are devices which contain compact linear accelerators and can produce neutrons by fusing isotopes of Hydrogen together.

Non Destructive Testing (NDT)

are methods used to examine an object, material or system without impairing its future usefulness, typically applied to nonmedical investigations of material integrity.

Non Thermal Plasma Reactors

are devices that generates a low temperature, atmospheric pressure partially ionized gas used for plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, plasma etching, and plasma cleaning.

Nuclear Medicine

is a branch of medicine and medical imaging that uses radioactive isotopes and the process of radioactive decay for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Nuclear Instrumentation Modules (NIM)

is a standard defining mechanical and electrical specifications for electronic modules used in experimental particle and nuclear physics experimentation.


Ozone Generators

see Corona Generators.



is the process of transferring geometric shapes on a mask to the surface of a silicon wafer, typically used in semiconductor fabrication facilities to fabricate integrated circuits.

Photo Multiplier Tube Detectors (PMT)

are photo vacuum tubes which are extremely sensitive detectors of light in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Piezoelectric Transformers

are non-magnetic transformers that exchange electric potential with mechanical force. Voltage gain is a function of the material coefficient, the number of primary layers and the thickness and overall length of the material.

Plasma Igniters

operate by sending a pressurized gas through a small channel with a charged electrode. When high voltage is applied a powerful spark is generated heating the gas until a plasma torch discharge is created.

Plasma Torches

see Plasma Igniters.

Pockels Cells

are voltage controlled optical devices that alter the polarization of light which travels through them.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

is a nuclear medicine imaging technique that produces a 3D image of functional processes in the body. The system detects gamma rays emitted by a positron-emitting radionuclide tracer which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule.

Power Feed Equipment (PFE)

is land or ship board based high voltage power supplies that power fiber optic telecommunication cables. See Land Based Power Feed Equipment (PFE) for Telecommunications for more details.

Product Inspection

utilizes X-Ray based inspection systems that evaluate products for contaminants such as metal, glass, stone and bone. See Food Inspection for more details.

Proportional Counters

are radiation detectors used to measure alpha, beta, and X-Ray radiation consisting of a proportional counter tube and associated circuits. Fundamentally similar to a Geiger-Müller counter, but with a different gas and lower tube voltage.

Pulse Forming Networks (PFN)

accumulate electrical energy over a long time frame then release the stored energy in the form of short duration pulse for various pulsed power applications. A PFN is typically charged via a high voltage power supply, and then rapidly discharged into a load via a high voltage switch.

Pulse Generators

are circuits or a pieces of electronic test equipment used to generate signal pulses of varying amplitude, duty cycle and frequency.

Pulsed Power Supplies

are power supplies with the inherent capability of generating pulsed outputs.


Quadrupole Mass Analyzers

are fundamentally comprised of four charged rods, which run parallel to the flight paths of the ions it measures. Ions are filtered and sorted by their mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) by altering the voltages in the rods.


Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM)

see Electron Microscopes.

Shipboard Power Feed Equipment (PFE) for Telecommunications

consist of sophisticated, redundant, highly reliable high voltage power supplies specifically designed to power undersea fiber optic Telecommunications cables while they are being deployed or repaired on board a cable laying ship.

Silicone Encapsulation

is a solid insulation media frequently used in high voltage power supplies that allow for smaller physical size, high power density and isolation from the physical environment.

Single Photo Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)

is a medical imaging technique similar to Positron Emission Tomography (PET), in which a positron-emitting radionuclide tracer is injected into the body. SPECT can be used to diagnose and evaluate a wide range of conditions, including diseases of the heart, cancer, and injuries to the brain.


are instruments used to measure the properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically used in spectroscopic analysis to identify materials.


consist of a photometer that can measure intensity as a function of the color (or more specifically the wavelength) of light.


is a Physical Vapor Deposition process used to deposit thin films onto a substrate for a variety of industrial and scientific applications. Sputtering occurs when an ionized gas molecule is used to displace atoms of the target material. These atoms bond at the atomic level to the substrate, creating a thin film.

Substance Identification Systems

are specialized apparatus that can identify unknown substances (drugs, explosives, etc.) via the use of various analytical techniques, including but not limited to X-Ray and mass spectrometry.


Thickness Gauging

is the use of X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analytical techniques to determine the thickness of plating, paint or other types of coatings over a base metal.

Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (TOF)

is where ions are accelerated by an electric field down an evacuated flight tube of a specific distance, giving these unknown ions the same kinetic energy. The velocity (hence, time of flight) of the ions depend on their mass-to-charge ratio. Comparing the flight time to known standards, the identity of unknown materials can be determined.

Trace Detection Systems

are systems using various analytic techniques (X-Ray, Mass Spectrometry, etc.) used to determine if specific contraband substances like drugs or explosive are present.

Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM)

are specific types of electron beam microscopes where the transmitted electrons are used to create an image of the specimen. See Electron Microscopes for more details.


UV Flash Lamps

consists of four major elements, a high voltage power supply, a pulse forming network, a xenon flash lamp and a trigger circuit. The UV light generated can be used for curing inks, adhesives, coatings and other various industrial applications.

UV Water Purification Systems

are UV light sources used in water sterilizers to kill harmful microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses in untreated water supplies.


Vacuum Deposition Systems

deposit layers atom by atom, or molecule by molecule, under vacuum conditions on solid surfaces via process like thermal evaporation, sputtering, cathodic arc vaporization, laser ablation or chemical vapor deposition.

Vacuum Ion Pumps

operate by ionizing gases and using a strong electric field to accelerate the generated ions into a solid electrode effectively removing them from the vacuum chamber.


Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (WDXRF)

is a method used to count the number of X-rays of a specific wavelength diffracted by a crystal. Typically this technique is used for chemical analysis in X-ray fluorescence spectrometers.

Wire Line Logging

is the continuous measurement of oil and gas borehole formation properties with specialized electrically powered instruments to make decisions about drilling and production operations.


X-Ray Analysis

uses various X-Ray analytical techniques to determine properties of known or unknown materials

X-Ray Crystallography

is the study of crystal structures via X-Ray diffraction techniques. When an X-Ray beam strikes a crystalline lattice, the beam is scattered in a specific pattern characterized by the atomic structure of the lattice.

X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

is used to obtain structural information about crystalline solids, making it useful in biochemistry to solve the three dimensional structures of complex biomolecules.

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)

is a process where an unknown sample is bombarded with X-rays causing a disturbance of the electron orbitals which emits secondary fluorescent X-rays of wavelengths. These secondary emissions are detected and analyzed, identifying the material.

X-Ray Generators

are technically any device that has the ability to generate X-Rays. In the power supply industry the term X-Ray generator is frequently used to identify a specialized high voltage power supply that powers an X-Ray tube.

X-Ray Inspection

is the industrial use of X-Rays to inspect and analyze material and or products for quality control purposes.

X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)

involves irradiating a sample with X-Rays and measuring the flux of electrons leaving the surface, thus identifying the unknown material.

X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRD)

is an analytic technique using X-Rays on powder or microcrystalline samples for structural characterization of the unknown material.

X-Ray Sources

are electronic assemblies containing all the required components (high voltage power supply, filament power supply, X-Ray tubes, control electronics, etc) required to generate X-Rays. Spellman “Monoblock®” series of products are X-Ray Sources.