X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is the emission of characteristic "secondary" (or fluorescent) X-rays from a material that has been excited by bombarding with high-energy X-rays or gamma rays.
The phenomenon is widely used for elemental analysis and chemical analysis.
The sample is bombarded with X-rays. The removal of an electron in this way makes the electronic structure of the atom unstable, and electrons in higher orbitals "fall" into the lower orbital to fill the hole left behind. In falling, energy is released in the form of a photon, the energy of which is equal to the energy difference of the two orbitals involved. Thus, the material emits radiation, which has energy characteristic of the atoms present. The term fluorescence is applied to phenomena in which the absorption of radiation of a specific energy results in the re-emission of radiation of a different energy (generally lower).
Qualitative and Quantitative determination of elements
- from halogens to heavy metals
- testing of material regarding REACH conformity.