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To meet the demands of the QEXAFS (quick-scanning extended X-ray absorption fine structure) technique for a fast, user-friendly and flexible data acquisition a new stand-alone system with new software exploiting a multi-functional USB board was designed. The chosen approach allows the scanning of several analogue and digital data sources with up to 500000 samples each second over hours storable in binary or ASCII format without any dead-time. At the same time it is possible to visualize the acquired data instantaneously which provides a maximum of interactivity during the running experiment and also optimal conditions to select the best suited beamline and detector settings prior to each measurement. Furthermore, the QEXAFS monochromator and typically three current amplifiers are entirely controlled by the new software so that all monochromator settings can be synchronized with the data acquisition enabling programmed scans with alternating parameter sets. This versatile concept also enables the user to react immediately to changes in the sample during in situ studies. An interface to a three-axis stepper motor control unit is additionally included to control a sample stage which can again be synchronized with the data acquisition. Thus, spatially resolved scans and the usage of scan tools for sample alignment are feasible with the new system. Typical examples to demonstrate the features of the new data acquisition system are presented, the designed graphical user interface is described in detail and, furthermore, the crucial design parameters of a typical QEXAFS set-up are discussed.

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