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What is X-Ray Fluorescence?

X-ray fluorescence is the phenomenon of fluorescent x-rays being emitted from a material that is excited with gamma rays or x-rays. The phenomenon is used as a non-destructive analytical technique to determine the chemistry and material composition of a sample.

The technique is extremely versatile and can be used to analyze a wide range of materials for most of the periodic table. This blog post will discuss x-ray fluorescence in more detail.

How Does X-Ray Fluorescence Work?

X-ray fluorescence works on the process of ionization, which is where an atom receives a positive or negative charge by gaining or losing electrons to form ions. For x-ray fluorescence, atoms within a material may ionize when it is exposed to gamma rays or short wavelength x-ray beams.

An x-ray fluorescence instrument has two main components, a detector, and an x-ray source. The x-ray source is used to generate an x-ray beam that is directed on to the sample surface, and when the beam hits the sample the atoms within it produce fluorescent x-rays that are processed by the detector.

When they are processed there is an energy difference between the initial x-ray beam and the fluorescent x-ray produced, and the energy of the fluorescent beam is directly associated with a specific element under analysis.

X-ray fluorescence can be used for a wide variety of applications including material surface analysis, such as coating thickness measurements, thin film measurement, and quality control purposes.

X-Ray Fluorescence Sample Preparation

In order to perform successful x-ray fluorescence analysis, the sample should be prepared successfully. There are various forms of sample preparation for successful analysis, including solid samples, loose powders, pressed pellets, liquids, and fused beads.

XRF Scientific supply a range of equipment and products that can be used for x-ray fluorescence sample preparation, specifically the fused bead method.

The fused bead method is often considered the best for solids as they provide an almost perfect homogeneous representation of the sample.

Both gas and electric fusion machines are available from XRF Scientific, which are used to perform sample preparation by mixing the sample with a flux to produce the fused bead. In addition to these instruments, XRF Scientific also supply the flux and chemicals required for sample preparation as well as the lab equipment.

If you would like any more information about the x-ray fluorescence capabilities XRF Scientific possesses, please contact us.