Micro-XRF

Traditionally XRF has been a bulk technique with analysis spots in the region of several millimeters through to several centimeters. Inhomogeneous samples have to be ground, and are then often compacted into a pellet or fused within a glass matrix. Sample preparation is time consuming, and typically requires large volumes of material.

Developments in X-Ray optics have led to the generation of narrow X-Ray beams, ranging from 1 mm down to just 10 ┬Ám. These are revolutionizing XRF analysis, by allowing single microscopic particles to be discretely analyzed, and for detailed element images to be built up with high spatial resolution.

Typically micro-XRF systems like the XGT series are based on energy dispersive detection, since to generate a detailed element image with many thousands of individual pixels requires fast acquisition of a spectrum at each pixel position. The time involved in scanning a WDXRF spectrometer is not feasible for the imaging applications of micro-XRF.

Micro-XRF is fast being embraced by a wide range of research fields, including materials, geology and mineralogy, engine wear debris, gemology, archaeology, electronics, environmental science, pharmaceutics, biology and medicine. A range of application notes outlining recent results obtained on the XGT micro-XRF analyzers are available in the XRF Resource pages.

Micro-XRF