XRF (X-ray fluorescence) analysis as a technique is widely used in academia, research and development and industry as an analysis tool for the determination of elemental composition of materials. Unlike wet chemical and other instrumental techniques which require the use of hazardous chemicals and difficult preparation methods to dissolve samples for analysis purposes, the quick, accurate, sensitive non-destructive analysis technique of XRF makes it attractive as an analytical technique, this coupled with the fact that it can be used by non-technical users and does not require expert knowledge and high skill levels to produce good, reliable, reproducible analytical data. XRF is considered to be less labor intensive and more environmentally friendly that the aforementioned methods.
XRF has many advantageous features as mentioned above but all of these features rely on a good sample to present to the XRF system.
It would not be an over statement to say that XRF analysis data quality is directly linked to the quality of the sample preparation technique.
A series of articles designed to cover all aspects of sample preparation for XRF will appear in the journal over the course of the next several months.