All XRF instruments are designed around two major components, an X-ray source, commonly an X-ray tube, and a detector. Primary X-rays are generated by the source and directed at the sample’s surface, sometimes passing through a filter to modify the X-ray beam. When the beam hits the atoms in the sample, they react by generating secondary X-rays that are collected and processed by a detector.
However, XRF is also a quantitative technique.
As we have seen, the peak energy identifies the element. Its peak area or intensity gives an indication of its amount in the sample.
The analyser then uses this information to calculate the sample's elemental composition.
Samples can be made into pellet or solid material, polishing the metal or others, XRF can test the samples directly to get their concentration, very quick.