The chemistry department of Université de Paris is well known for its research and educational programs. It includes 500 undergraduates, 70 doctoral and postdoctoral candidates, and more than 90 academics working in a shared lab facility (chemistry, physics and earth sciences) using state-of-the-art instruments and technologies1. A wide range of samples such as metals, ceramics, polymers, and nanomaterials are analyzed in the ultramodern X-ray analysis lab at the university.
Dr. Sophie Nowak is responsible for the X-ray platform and XRF analysis systems at the department. Since she works in an academic institution involving numerous scientists with their own fields of interest, she needs robust analytical methods that can be adapted to various types of samples.
She encountered an issue a couple of years ago related to the analysis of volcanic ashes, which are known to be very variable and for which the composition must be known quickly.