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Analysis of trace elements

We are aiming at optimizing and expanding the trace element analysis capabilities in the research group by development and employment of the available analytical resources for different projects.

For trace element analysis there are two x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers and one graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer (GF-AAS) available in the research group. two x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers The XRF spectrometers are laboratory built and under constant development to optimize their performance both generally and for special applications. The GF-AAS is a commercial spectrometer (Perkin Elmer SIMAA 6000) where optimization has to be done in the sample preparation step.

X-ray fluorescence

Currently there are two Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometers available in our research group. Both instruments are laboratory built for best possible adoption to the needs of different projects. Both spectrometers are used for multi-elemental, non-destructive analysis of trace elements in the samples. A third spectrometer is under development.

The EDXRF spectrometer is based on a three axial geometry in order to reduce the background in the obtained spectra, thus reaching low detection limits. This spectrometer can be used for analysis of almost all kind of samples. The geometry of the spectrometer may be further optimized and vacuum will be used in the future to further lower detection limits.

To reach even lower detection limits and be able to use very minute amounts of sample mass the Total reflection X-Ray Fluorescence (TXRF) spectrometer is used. In this spectrometer the geometry is changed so that the incoming x-rays are totally reflected on a flat sample support surface. This is achieved when the impinging angle is below a certain critical angle. The critical angle is dependent on both the reflector material and the energy of the x-rays. This optimized setup allows detection of elements in the picogram range. By testing different materials for the reflector/sample holder and special treatments of the reflector surface for different purposes, the analysis can be improved further.

Ideas exist to develop XRF spectrometers for online analysis of small aerosol particles as well as combining the XRF instrumentation with other analytical techniques available and developed in the research group.

Staff within this project

Page Manager: Katleen Burm|Last update: 4/14/2014

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Utskriftsdatum: 2019-07-18