Talk:X-ray fluorescence

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The article mentions the verb "analyze" in the fourth paragraph, but at no point does it say what XRF actually does. This subject requires a pretty meaty article. I'll have a go when I get a minute. . . . LinguisticDemographer 14:30, 23 December 2006 (UTC) P.S. I notice that both the French and German articles are much better. . . .LinguisticDemographer 14:42, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Re-write 24 Dec 2006[edit]

I made a start on this and it remains work in progress. There was a commercial link, and I toyed with the idea of deleting it, but decided instead to expand it to a (probably) full list of manufacturers, as in the French article. Since these are few in number, and their websites provide useful information, this may be acceptable, but wiki policy may well dictate that they all be removed. . . . LinguisticDemographer 00:39, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

In adding this text, I'm very conscious of the fact that separate articles exist for EDX and WDX. I have encountered this problem elsewhere (see for example cement). On the one hand, the general-interest reader prefers (I think) to have a "one-stop-shop" to understand the various related branches of a subject. If the sub-sections are devolved to separate articles, both the "mother" and "daughter" articles seem irritatingly truncated, and put the casual reader off. On the other hand, incorporating multiple branches into a single article may cause it to become unweildy (and this may well be happening here). In this instance, the daughter articles as they currently exist are scarcely more than dictionary definitions, and I feel (I may be wrong) that they might as well stay that way. In a conventional encyclopedia, this sort of problem would probably be settled by Editorial Policy. Maybe a lot of what I have added should be transferred (or duplicated?) to the daughter articles. I would welcome discussion of this. . . . LinguisticDemographer 16:06, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Please add SPECTRO to the list of manufacturers[edit]

SPECTRO has been a manufacturer of X-ray Fluorescence spectrometers since the early 1990's. Our URL is - where we also offer an XRF Fundamentals eLearning program.

To the person with the the "juice" and willingness to make the edit, I say thank you!

Kind regards, Tom Milner ( Marketing Director, SPECTRO Analytical Instruments 13:00, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Spam links[edit]

A small handful of manufacturers' websites were initially included in this article because they contained useful explanations and propriatory graphics that can't be included in the article for copyright reasons. However, since then these links have proliferated, and many of these are of little general informational value. In view of the "no advertising" rule, and in the interests of fairness, it's probably best if all the manufacturers' sites are deleted. . . .LinguisticDemographer 21:22, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

hand-held XRF equipment[edit]

Please add information about portable, miniature, and hand-held XRF equipment. Field testing in geology, lead paint, toy testing, etc. This is not just a big laboratory instrument! Please make the article more understandable, relevant, and current.- 23:37, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


Many companies want to sell this equipment. But it is very hard to find out the cost. It seems to range from perhaps as low as USD 10,000 to over $100,000 for larger versions. This is key info for smaller businesses or organizations that desire access to this technology for testing lead paint etc. Please try to find some way to add to the article. Although the equipment in theory would allow low-cost non-destructive testing, it requires operator training, owner licensing, and perhaps annual source replacement and re-calibration. So, it is not really practical unless it is going to get used on a nearly daily basis. Otherwise the amortized cost per use becomes quite high. This is an area of rapidly changing technology, leading to rapid equipment obsolescence. The equipment is complex and computerized, a serious long-term maintenance challenge. Models more than a few years old may require interfacing with computer hardware and software no longer available.

"originally $18,000 new. the LPA-1 XRF Lead Paint Analyzer, two (2) batteries, all software, protective case and required licenses. "


Although the purpose of the equipment may be to test for hazards, the equipment itself may be a source of danger. Many models use radioactive sources. Which may require frequent replacement. And the X-rays emitted may be a hazard. The article should cover these aspects.

"...the only handheld XRF instruments to offer customers a choice of sources and configurations:

  • 50 kV (max) miniaturized x-ray tube — for lowest detection limits, best precision and accuracy, and fastest measurement times
  • Patented Infiniton radioisotope source — the only XRF analyzer which never requires source replacement; the ideal choice in locations where x-ray tube sources are heavily regulated
  • Cadmium-109 radioisotope source"[1]

"How long is the half life for CO57 and when do I re-source the instrument?

  • The half life for CO57 is approximately nine months (272 days). This period is fixed by nature. The source will decay at the same rate whether the instrument is used once or a million times... RMD recommends changing the source every 12-15 months.

How much radiation is an operator exposed to by the LPA-1?

  • The LPA-1 Analyzer contains a maximum of 12 mCi (millicurie) of Cobalt 57 (Co57) radioactive material sealed, and housed in a tungsten shield inside the instrument. The source can only be exposed when the system is in contact with a surface. The low activity of the source and the shield, along with proper operation results in no radiation hazard to the operator. The radiation dose rate at the operators hand is approximately 0.3 mRem/hr (Millirem per hour) with the shutter open or closed... the user must receive a license or registration from the local state agency. Some states accept a general license.

Radiation Source

  • Cobalt-57 (Min. 10 mCi, Max. 12 mCi, 444 MBq)

RMD's LPA-1 analyzer radioactive source is a 12 mCi, Cobalt 57 isotope. Co-57 gamma ray energies (122 Kev) are more efficient (at least 10 times) than those of Cd-109 (22-26 Kev and 88 Kev) source for production of K-shell lead x-rays, which are recommended by HUD chapter 7 for measurement of lead in paint. Therefore, the measurement time is shorter using a Co-57 source.


  • The LPA-1 analyzer utilizes a "room-temperature" detector, CdTe, for its x-ray analysis that operates in a wide, 20-120° F, thermal range without any cooling requirements. The LPA-1 analyzer's ability to operate without cooling eliminates a cooling down period for stability at the beginning of a job that would result in extra time added to inspections.


  • The LPA-1 XRF system has the capability of setting abatement levels from 0.4-2.0 mg/cm2 for automatic determination of the lead condition as either positive or negative with 95% confidence according to a PCS approved mode of operation."

- 19:23, 9 September 2007 (UTC)


If you own a hand-held, please add photos to this article. If you make hand-held equipment, please put some photos in the public domain, and put links here, so that we can add them to the article.- 19:27, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Please do not put commercial material in Wikipedia articles or talk pages. Guidance on the Wikipedia policies on this can be found in Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. . . .LinguisticDemographer 15:34, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

portable vacuum pump[edit]

"new handheld XRF analyser for light metals...

...applications where Optical Emission Spectroscopy cannot be used because of the mark the technique leaves on the surface...

With traditional portable XRF analysers, alloy identification has been based on the analysis of the heavy elements because magnesium, aluminum and silicon produce low energy x-rays that are impeded by air. The portable vacuum pump ... evacuates the analysis path of air, making the measurement of these elements possible."[2] - 01:04, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Elemental vs. chemical analysis[edit]

This is a daunting article. It would be good to try to give the basics at the beginning, for people who will not be able to digest the whole thing. The key concept here is, we stimulate a test sample with X-rays. We get some signals back that we can analyze to find out what ELEMENTS are in the sample. I don't know why the lead paragraph said "chemical analysis". I have added "elemental analysis". It would be good to have this reviewed by someone knowledgeable. But we really need to focus on making the lead paragraph more accessible to the general reader.- 00:22, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm still looking for someone knowledgeable, but no luck! . . . .LinguisticDemographer 06:09, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Original Research[edit]

Substantial parts of this article were written by me. I am a well known researcher in this field. I hereby assert that all those parts of the article that were written by me and are not provided with references are the results of my own original research. Wikipedia rules state that information that is the result of original research is prohibited, and where such information is unambiguously present in an article, it is the duty of every editor to remove it forthwith. LinguisticDemographer (talk) 22:27, 15 April 2010 (UTC)


Mini XRF is often used to judge the honesty of precious metal objects and there are specialized devices for this very purpose. However, even industrial strenght X-ray cannot penetrate solid gold more than the widht of a hair or 1 sheet of office paper at best, so XRF only judges if the object's exterior is truly noble. The insides may well be fake, made of tungsten/wolfram (for gold) and cuprum (for silver), with just a thin precious metal plating on the outside.

XRF cannot replace the magnifying loupe and the diamond filer, when investigating metals for valuation or certification. Because of the excessive demand for internally precious metals in this time of great economic crisis, fake gold and silver are galore everywhere and people think handheld XRF is a divining rod, which it isn't. The article could devote a paragraph to this topic, because it is something people encounter. (talk) 16:43, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:X-ray fluorescence/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article needs a pretty extensive gramatical and readability go-over. This being the first time I tried doing something like that, it didn't work technically -- maybe a good reason not to bother.DeanGoWilson 14:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 14:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 10:57, 30 April 2016 (UTC)