XRF, X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

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XRF is useful for inspection and quick nondestructive analysis of large objects such as automotive parts, archaeological samples, art objects, or forensic samples.


XRF Testing, X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy Testing Facility

XRF is an elemental and chemical analysis tool. Handheld XRF is particularly useful for inspection and quick nondestructive analysis of large objects such as automotive parts, archaeological samples, art objects, or forensic samples. In this test, the sample is excited by an incident X-ray beam that interacts with the atoms in the sample. The sample emits X-rays characteristic of its chemical and elemental makeup. Analysis of the emitted X-ray radiation provides the chemical composition of the material.

Common Uses

  • Atomic layer deposited thin film thickness measurement for semiconductor memory applications
  • Inspections of parts and corrosion detection in automotive
  • Impurities and contaminants in trace amounts in materials
  • Elemental analysis of large area wafers or large samples
  • Nondestructive paint analysis in art objects
  • Mineral chemical composition analysis in the field
  • Archaeological sample chemical analysis
  • Impurities in pharmaceutical drugs and food products

XRF Advantages:

  • XRF works on both, conductive and nonconductive samples
  • Detection of elements in very low concentrations – trace amounts
  • Quick analysis – almost instant results
  • No sample preparation required
  • Angstrom level thin film thickness measurement

XRF Limitations: 

  • Quantification of results requires a more complicated procedure using reference standards
  • Useful only for elements from B to U 
  • Handheld XRF cannot detect elements below Mg


  • Oil and Gas
  • Food Products
  • Chemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Organic Semiconductors
  • Nanotechnology
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Advanced Materials
  • Automotive
  • Energy Storage and Batteries
  • LED and Display
  • Mining and Minerals

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Laboratories

  • Evans Analytical Group – EAG laboratories
  • Covalent Metrology
  • Archaeometry Laboratory
  • Triclinic Laboratory
  • Element Materials Analysis
  • Intertek
  • EMSL
  • Washington Mills

More Details

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    FAQs on XRF, X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    Where can I do X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of materials?

    Our network of material testing labs regularly provides portable and laboratory X-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing services, including high-throughput testing, in-line measurements, etc.

    How much does X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis cost?

    Wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of materials starts at $400/hour.

    What is X-ray fluorescence (XRF) used for?

    X-ray fluorescence (XRF) can be used to determine the chemical composition of solid, liquid, powdered samples. It is frequently used for contamination detection, qualitative and quantitative analysis, thickness and composition measurements in thin-films and coatings, etc.

    What is the difference between XRF and XRD?

    Both operate on the same working principles of X-ray scattering. While X-ray fluorescence (XRF) provides the sample’s chemical composition and is used for rapid surface analysis of samples, X-ray diffraction (XRD) is often used to identify the crystalline phases, differentiate oxidation states, and obtain other crystallographic information.

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