Quantitative estimate of elemental composition by spectroscopic and imaging techniques using X-ray fluorescence requires the availability of accurate data of X-ray interaction with matter. Although a wide number of computer codes and data sets are reported in literature, none of them is presented in the form of freely available library functions which can be easily included in software applications for X-ray fluorescence. This work presents a compilation of data sets from different published works and an xraylib interface in the form of callable functions. Although the target applications are on X-ray fluorescence, cross sections of interactions like photoionization, coherent scattering and Compton scattering, as well as form factors and anomalous scattering functions, are also available.
xraylib provides access to some of the most respected databases of physical data in the field of X-rays. The core of xraylib is a library, written in ANSI C, containing over 40 functions to be used to retrieve data from these databases. This C library can be directly linked with any program written in C, C++ or Objective-C. Furthermore, the xraylib package contains bindings to several popular programming languages: Fortran 2003, Perl, Python, Java, IDL, Lua, Ruby, PHP and .NET, as well as a command-line utility which can be used as a pocket-calculator. Although not officially supported, xraylib has been reported to be useable from within Matlab and LabView.
The source code is known to compile and run on the following platforms: Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD and Windows. It is very likely that xraylib will also work on other platforms: we would be grateful if you would report your successes in this regard. Please note that not all of the bindings are currently working on all platforms. A paper was published concerning xraylib by A. Brunetti, M. Sanchez del Rio, B. Golosio, A. Simionovici and A. Somogyi, “A library for X-ray matter interaction cross sections for X-ray fluorescence applications”, Spectrochimica Acta B 59 (2004) 1725-1731.
This paper was recently superseded by a new manuscript, covering all features of xraylib upto version 2.15.0, written by T. Schoonjans, A. Brunetti, B. Golosio, M. Sanchez del Rio, V. A. Solé, C. Ferrero and L. Vincze, named The xraylib library for X-ray—matter interactions. Recent developments You are kindly requested to include this paper in the reference list of your published work when you would decide to use xraylib for scientific purposes.
The xraylib source code is distributed under the BSD license. A copy of this license can be found in the source tarball.
New: we are currently building a website that allows users to perform simple queries from xraylib. This is possible through the PHP bindings that were added to the version 3.0.0. The code of the website can be found at http://github.com/tschoonj/xraylib-web. If you want to try out the website itself, visit http://lvserver.ugent.be/xraylib-web for a demo.