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 µm. 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