XRF Principles

Although X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is no longer regarded as a new instrumental technique for elemental analysis, ongoing evolutionary developments continue to redefine the role of this important analytical tool.

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Energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) relies on the detector and detector electronics to resolve spectral peaks due to different energy x-rays.

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Wavelength dispersive x-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) is the old timer among commercial x-ray spectrometers, since the method works without high-resolution solid-state detectors.

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Micro x-ray fluorescence (µ-XRF) gets its name because these instruments are designed to analyze very small spot sizes.

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Non-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (NDXRF) got its start in the 1920’s when Ross and other experimenters discovered that they could isolate an x-ray line for an element by using two filters made of different elements over two detectors. One filter absorbs the elements x-rays, while the other transmits them.

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Total Reflection x-ray fluorescence (TXRF) and the fundamentally related Grazing emission x-ray fluorescence (GEXRF) rely on scatter properties near and below the Bragg angle to reduce background intensities and improve detections limits an order of magnitude or more over more traditional XRF instruments.

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In an effort to save money, space, sample preperation time, or simply to add an analytical instrument to their process many companies will decide to evaluate energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) analyzers as a substitute for their standard wavelength dispersive x-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF) analysis.

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