Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre

Analytical Equipment

view of Edax XRF machine

Micro X-ray Fluorescence (µXRF)

Micro X-Ray Fluorescence (µXRF) is a bulk analysis technique, used for identifying and quantifying elements within the bulk of a sample. Depending on the substrate the depth of analysis can vary from a few microns for metallic samples, to a few millimetres for light polymers. By using a RhL X-Ray source to radiate the sample and a Silicon Drift Detector (SSD) to detect the emitted fluorescent x-rays, elements above Na in the periodic table can be analysed.

µXRF also has the capability to produce chemical maps across large areas, collecting data on the distribution of elements. These maps can be left to run automatically overnight, meaning that large samples can be mapped with relatively little operator input.

µXRF can also measure film thicknesses, and is theoretically capable of measuring up to five layers, with ten elements in each layer. Calculating film thicknesses can be carried out relatively quickly, so this technique is a useful tool to quickly identify an approximate coating thickness before attempting further analysis using more advanced techniques such as a depth profile using an X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS).