Watch our webinar on sample preparation in the fields of FTIR, XRF and more. Will Campbell explores various techniques in this webinar, originally hosted live by Select Science.
XRF spectroscopy and FTIR spectroscopy is covered, along with other uses for sample preparation equipment. Tips on sample preparation and then a Q/A session also features.
Equipment/supplies mentioned includes:
- Manual Hydraulic Press
- Automatic Hydraulic Press
- Evacuable Pellet Die
- Mini-Pellet Press
- XRF Sample Cups
- KBr powder
- Specamill and P6 Mill
X-ray Fluorescence in industry
One of the fields covered in the webinar is X-ray fluorescence (XRF). XRF is the ideal analytical technique to determine the elemental composition of inorganic based materials of all kinds. This method is typically used for bulk chemical analysis on solids and powders in industries where low-cost monitoring and rapid turnaround of results is important.
Because of the non-destructive nature of the method it has also shown utility in delicate applications and has been widely and routinely applied to the analysis of archaeological samples, historical relics and works of art.
The principles behind XRF
X-ray fluorescence is based on emission of x-rays by sample constituent atoms when excited by an external source of high energy radiation.
If a gamma- or energetic x-ray impacts on an atom of the sample material, it can eject one of the inner shell electrons of this atom. The vacancy created is almost instantly (in less than 10-8 sec.) filled by an electron from a higher energy shell. The difference in energy between the two ‘energy shells’ involved is emitted in the form of x-ray radiation (fluorescence).
This emitted radiation is called ‘a characteristic x-ray’ because it is energy specific and unique to each atom. By being able to measure the energy and intensity of the characteristic x-rays, the constituent elements can be identified and quantified.1 Calibration of the XRF system with standard samples allows trace elements to be detected at the very low level of around 0.01%.1
How is XRF used?
XRF is widely used for elemental and chemical analysis across a range of industries including: electronics, glass and ceramics, medical devices, aerospace, automotive, food, metal and mineral processing, coal and oil production and construction/cement manufacture.
The technique is simple to use and can be utilized in just as wide a range of applications, from QA/QC control, raw material analysis and batch conformity testing to the ID of unknowns, and in situations where non-destructive chemical or elemental analysis is required such as in archaeology or forensic analysis.