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The Archeological Applications of ICP Equipment

Inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) spectrometry has provided archeological researchers with an ideal resource for quantitatively and non-destructively determining the elemental composition of a sample. ICP equipment only requires small surface samples to acquire detailed information relating to sample trace elements and the provenance of geochemical analytes. This is due to the outstanding sensitivity of ICP mass spectrometry equipment, which is designed to perform sample analysis and provide data pertaining to the concentration of metals and select non-metal materials present in the analyte. ICP equipment can accurately quantify the presence of elements with concentrations below the parts per million (ppm) range.

This extreme level of precision makes ICP equipment uniquely suited ...

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Using Reference Materials for XRF Analysis

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis enables researchers to accurately map the elemental compositions of a sample by observing extremely weak fluorescent signals in a spectrometry sample chamber. This equipment must display exceptional long-term stability and precision to ensure that test results remain within acceptable parameters. These parameters are regularly monitored using reference materials, which are pre-defined elemental compositions of established laboratory standards.

XRF reference materials are homogenous samples of tightly-controlled molecular contents. They enable analysts to perform precise quality control and assurance tests by providing a recognized industry benchmark from which to test the accuracy of a spectrometer or other measurement instrumentation.

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How Does a Fusion Fluxer Work?

Fusion fluxers are sample preparation instruments for both X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) analysis – both of which enable researchers to accurately assess the elemental composition of solid samples. Quality control of construction materials such as iron and cement can be assessed through XRF analysis, while ICP spectroscopy is available for numerous specialized applications. However, both analytical methodologies require samples to be prepared as either near-homogenous or high-purity heterogenous mixtures to ensure good results accuracy.

Assessing samples without fusion flux preparation can result in significant results inaccuracy, with unfinished solid samples exhibiting surface variations that can interfere with an XRF spectrometer’s calibrati...

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