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Limitations of X-Ray Fluorescence Technology

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology exploits the inherent emission properties of materials to interpret their elemental composition. It is one of the primary analytical methods used to determine the chemical content of various samples at the trace and ultra-trace levels. Among the many benefits of X-ray fluorescence technology are its extreme versatility, non-destructiveness, and outstanding levels of accuracy due to the technology’s reliable underlying physics. However, there are drawbacks to this industry-leading method of materials characterization.

In this blog post, XRF Scientific explores the limitations of X-ray fluorescence technology in greater detail. We will also offer a few solutions to the challenges represented by modern elemental analysis.


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What is a Platinum Mouldable Fusion Machine?

The sample preparation for XRF analysis is typically prepared by mixing a ratio of lithium tetraborate and lithium metaborate with a pulverised sample. The mixture is heated in an electric or gas fusion machine, and agitated until the sample is fully dissolved in the flux. At the end of the cycle the automated fusion machine pours the molten mixture from the platinum crucible into the platinum mould, which once cooled, is set into a glass disc. This process is known as lithium tetraborate fusion. The prepared sample is then able to be presented to the x-ray machine for analysis. (more…) Read More

What is Laser Ablation ICP-MS?

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) is an advanced analytical technique for interrogating the molecular composition of a sample at extremely low limits of concentration.

The conventional ICP method involves the dissolution of sample material in a molten eutectic mixture, which is then nebulized and sprayed through an argon (Ar) plasma torch. Typical temperatures in an ICP array are sufficient to ionize the atoms of virtually any chemical element. These ions are then sampled, segregated, and characterized based on their unique mass-to-charge ratios and spectral characteristics. This technique is widely used to detect and quantify trace elements to sub-parts per million (ppm) limits.

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