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About IIG Observatory Instruments and Facilities

X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF)

Instrument Details
Make: Spectro Analytical Instruments

Detection system : 30 mm2 Si-Drift Detector with Peltier cooling
Spectral resolution: Mn Ka ≤ 155 eV
Sample handling: Tray with 12 positions for samples with diameters of 32 or 40 mm Analysis: He atmosphere


The analyses of major and trace elements in geological materials by x-ray fluorescence is made possible by the behaviour of atoms when they interact with radiation. When materials are excited with high-energy, short wavelength radiation (e.g., X-rays), they can become ionized. If the energy of the radiation is sufficient to dislodge a tightly-held inner electron, the atom becomes unstable and an outer electron replaces the missing inner electron. When this happens, energy is released due to the decreased binding energy of the inner electron orbital compared with an outer one. The emitted radiation is of lower energy than the primary incident X-rays and is termed fluorescent radiation. Because the energy of the emitted photon is characteristic of a transition between specific electron orbitals in a particular element, the resulting fluorescent X-rays can be used to detect the abundances of elements that are present in the sample.

  • Mining, Mineralogy and Geology
  • Environmental and waste monitoring

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