Synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence (SR-XRF) is a powerful elemental analysis tool, yet synchrotrons are large, multiuser facilities that are generally not amenable to modification. However, the X-ray beamlines from synchrotrons can be modified by simply including X-ray filters or removing monochromators to improve the SR-XRF analysis. In this study, we evaluated four easily applied beamline configurations for the analysis of three representative environmental samples, namely a thin aerosol sample, an intermediate thickness biological sample, and a thick rare earth mineral specimen. The results showed that the "white beam" configuration, which was simply the full, polychromatic output of the synchrotron, was the optimal configuration for the analysis of thin samples with little mass. The "filtered white beam" configuration removed the lower energy X-rays from the excitation beam so it gave better sensitivity for elements emitting more energetic X-rays. The "filtered white beam-filtered detector" configuration sacrifices the lower energy part of the spectrum (<15 keV) for improved sensitivity in the higher end (∼26 to 48 keV range). The use of a monochromatic beam, which tends to be the standard mode of operation for most SR-XRF analyses reported in the literature, gave the least sensitive analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry