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How XRF works

Supplier: Thermo Fisher Scientific Rentals
05 August, 2013

The XRF is new in 2011 to Thermo Fisher Scientific Australia and another example of the innovation and leadership we demonstrate in the scientific arena.

Whether you're looking to identify "Chinese" drywall or perform CPSIA XRF compliance testing, searching for a lead paint detector for RRP compliance (lead-based renovation, repair and painting), interested in precious metal testing, or just curious to learn more about an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, the following is an explanation of the physics, technology, and the algorithms that make XRF a robust, versatile, and easy-to-use elemental analysis tool.

XRF Technology Benefits

Sample Analysis Via Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF)

Handheld Thermo Scientific Niton energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysers, commonly known as XRF analysers, are able to quickly and nondestructively determine the elemental composition of:

  • Metal and precious metal samples
  • Rocks and soil
  • Slurries and liquid samples
  • Painted surfaces, including wood, concrete, plaster, drywall and other building materials
  • Dust collected on wipe samples
  • Airborne heavy elements collected on filters

Thirty or more elements may be analysed simultaneously by measuring the characteristic fluorescence x-rays emitted by a sample. Thermo Scientific Niton XRF analysers can quantify elements ranging from magnesium (element 12) through uranium (element 92), measuring x-ray energies from 1.25 keV up to 85 keV in the case of Pb k-shell fluorescent x-rays excited with a 109Cd isotope.

These instruments also measure the elastic (Raleigh) and inelastic (Compton) scatter x-rays emitted by the sample during each measurement to determine, among other things, the approximate density and percentage of the light elements in the sample.