, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 435-441

Development of a total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometer for ultra-trace element analysis

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Abstract

A simple and fairly inexpensive total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectrometer has been designed, constructed and realized. The spectrometer is capable of ultra-trace multielement analysis as well as performs surface characterization of thin films. The TXRF setup comprises of an X-ray generator, a slit-collimator arrangement, a monochromator/cutoff-stage, a sample reflector stage and an X-ray detection system. The glancing angle of incidence on the two reflectors is implemented using a sine-bar mechanism that enables precise angle adjustments. An energy dispersive detector and a GM counter are employed for measuring respectively the fluorescence intensities and the direct X-ray beam intensity. A Cu-target X-ray generator with its line focus window is used as an excitation source. The spectrometer is quite portable with its compact design and use of a peltier cooled solid state detector for energy dispersive detection. Alignment and characterization of the TXRF system has been performed and the minimum detection limits for various elements have been determined to be in the range of 100 pg to 5 ng even at low X-ray generator powers of 30 kV, 5 mA. The capability of the TXRF system developed for thin film characterization is also demonstrated.