Matrix Effects

  • R. Jenkins
  • J. L. De Vries


The basis of quantitative X-ray fluorescence spectrometry is to follow the identification of a certain element in a mixture of elements (the matrix) with a measurement of the intensity of one of its characteristic lines, then to use this intensity to estimate the concentration of that element. By use of a range of standard materials a calibration curve can be constructed in which the peak response of a suitable characteristic line is correlated with the concentration of the element. Fig. 6.1 illustrates a typical case where the peak counting rates (R b ) from a range of elements (1–5) are plotted against the concentration of a certain element i. By fitting the calibration curve parameters into the equation for a straight line
$$ \eqalign{ y = mx + c \cr \left( {{R_p}} \right)i = {m_i}\left( {\% i} \right) + \left( {{R_b}} \right)i \cr \% i = \frac{{({R_p})i - ({R_b})i}} {{{m_i}}} \cr} $$
it will be seen that the slope of the curve “m” is equal to counts per second per percent and this can be used as a calibration factor for the element in that specific matrix. Once m has been established from standards the net peak minus background response can be divided by m to give the concentration of the element in an unknown but similar matrix. If such a curve were constructed in practice, by an experienced operator using a series of completely homogeneous standards it would be found that, on repeating each measurement a number of times, a certain degree of spread in the count data would occur.


Matrix Effect Wavelength Shift Elemental Interaction High Alloy Steel Mass Absorption Coefficient 
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Copyright information

© N.V. Philips’ Gloeilampenfabrieken, Eindhoven, The Netherlands 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Jenkins
  • J. L. De Vries

There are no affiliations available

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