X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy - XRF
XRF-analysers employ x-rays to interact with the sample. The x-rays excite the elements within the sample causing element-specific x-ray fluorescence.
In XRF there are two detector types. One is called energy dispersive (ED) and the other wavelength dispersive (WD). An ED-detector converts the energy of the fluorescent x-rays into a voltage signal. The generated voltage spectrum is specific for the detected element. The WD-Detector uses a series of analysing crystals to form an x-ray spectrum of higher resolution when compared to ED. In short, ED-analysers are used, when a quick analysis is essential. WD-analysers, though more time consuming yield more precise results.
The emerging hand-held analysers use ED-detectors to analyse rocks or other solid samples in the field. They are usually calibrated using loose powders. This is not optimal when the sample is a solid rock. Additionally, the particle-size of the sample also has an effect on the measurement.
By using nano-pellets one can achieve a more closely matrix-matched reference material. Furthermore, the small particle-size negates the particle-size effect.
It is also possible to produce a customised reference material perfectly suited for your needs.