The XRF principle – Spectro Analytical Instruments

The Fundamentals of Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Technology.

The traditional use of X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) has its roots in geology. Solid samples were the first sample types analysed by X-rays. Over the years the applications have expanded and nowadays cover the analysis of alloys, various types of powder samples to liquid samples and filter material.

The effect of X-ray fluorescence is based on the excitation of atoms in the sample. Unlike optical spectroscopy, the excitation involves interaction with the inner shell electrons rather than valence electrons.

The process of X-ray Fluorescence begins with an excitation (or primary) X-ray which is typically generated using an X-ray tube. This excitation X-ray hits an inner shell electron of the atom and ejects the electron from the atom. The open position is filled by an electron from a further outer shell and fluorescence radiation is emitted. The energy of this radiation is characteristic to the specific atom and indicates what atom is present in the sample.

Learn more about the XRF principle in this informative whitepaper. Go to

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