X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry is a non-destructive analytical technique used to obtain elemental information from different types of materials. It is employed in many industries and applications including: cement production, glass production, mining, mineral beneficiation, iron, steel and non-ferrous metals, petroleum and petrochemicals, polymers and related industries, pharmaceuticals, healthcare products and environmental. Spectrometer systems are generally divided into two main groups: wavelength dispersive systems (WDXRF) and energy dispersive systems (EDXRF). The difference between the two lies in the detection system.
What is WDXRF and how does it work?
The basic concept of all spectrometers is a radiation source, a sample and a detection system. In WDXRF spectrometers, the X-ray tube acting as a source irradiates a sample directly, and the fluorescence coming from the sample is measured with a wavelength dispersive detection system. The characteristic radiation coming from each individual element can be identified using analyzing crystals which separate the X-rays based on their wavelength, or conversely their energies. Such an analysis can either be done by measuring the X-ray intensity at different wavelengths one after the other (sequential) or in fixed positions, measuring the X-ray intensities at different wavelengths all at the same time (simultaneous).
Advantages of WDXRF spectrometry
- High resolution, especially for lighter elements
- Low detection limits, especially for lighter elements
- Robust analysis
- High throughput