April 21, 2016

Chemical analysis by X-ray fluorescence (XRF)

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a non-destructive elemental analysis method for qualitative and quantitative determination of the chemical composition of solids and liquids. It involves determination of elements with an atomic weight higher than fluor (Z > 9).

The sample is irradiated with highly energetic radiation. On an atomic level, these rays will induce emission of an electron. As a result, an electron from a higher peel will shift down emitting characteristic x-rays of which the wavelength is element specific and the corresponding intensity is proportional to the concentration of the element involved. 

Samples can be analyzed in either liquid or solid form. The systematic error of the XRF technique is usually better than 10% relative.

The experiments are being performed on a Philips PW2400 X-ray fluorescence analyzer.