Lab-based MicroXRF as a Powerful Compliment to Synchrotron-based X-ray Fluorescence Microscopy (XFM)

by Bryan DeVerse, IXRF Systems

Micro-X-ray Fluorescence (microXRF, microEDXRF, µXRF, µEDXRF) is a burgeoning analytical technology that has taken the scientific world by storm. It is a powerful complement to synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy beamlines. To understand the numerous benefits offered by lab-based microXRF, it is vital to appreciate the distinct attributes of both analytical techniques.  

Understanding Lab-based MicroXRF and Synchrotron-based XFM  

X-ray fluorescence microscopy from a synchrotron beamline is a well-established method used to analyse materials down to the sub-micron spatial resolution scale. It uses highly intense monochromatic X-ray beams produced by a synchrotron light source. However, despite its high resolution and powerful capabilities, it has limitations, namely, very limited access with little opportunity for experimental iteration during use. That is, the investigators cannot readily adjust acquisition conditions as a result of data observations from initial synchrotron beamline experiments. 

On the other hand, lab-based MicroXRF is a non-destructive analytical technique that typically uses polychromatic X-ray beams to map the elemental composition of a sample down to 5 μm spatial resolution. It is gaining more attention due to its decentralised availability (as compared to synchrotrons), flexibility, ease of use, and ability to provide equally reliable and high-quality data. 

IXRF Atlas M microXRF Spectrometer

The article delves into:

  • Advantages of MicroXRF over synchrotron-based x-ray microscopy accessibility
  • Operational simplicity
  • Non-destructive analysis
  • Flexibility
  • Reduced Costs
  • Quality of data

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