Specimen preparation is crucial to the relationship between spectral line intensity and the element concentration. Factors such as surface roughness, particle shape, particle size, homogeneity, particle distribution, and mineralization can affect this relationship.
The key to selecting the appropriate sample preparation technique are reproducibility, accuracy, simplicity, cost, and time required for sample preparation.Literature should always be consulted to see if someone else has encountered the situation and posed a solution.
Sample preparation is by far the most important step in any analytical technique. How well the sample is prepared and presented will affect the ability to yield accurate data from the instrument. X-ray fluorescence is not immune to this crucial step, despite the ability to correct for standard counting errors, instrument variation errors, operatoration errors, and matrix effects. Choosing the right sample preparation technique will depend on the goals of accuracy and precision the analyst needs or wishes to attain.