This technique uses photons from an x-ray tube, causing inner shell electrons to leave the excitation volume of the tested sample. Fluorescent photons are produced to balance the energy difference between the outer and inner shells as the electrons from the outer shells fill the inner shell vacancies in order to acquire a stable electron configuration. These fluorescent x-rays are characteristic of the atoms from which they originate and their signals help determine elements present in the sample provided and their concentrations.
- Good for quality control
- Excellent technique for surface or bulk analysis
- Non-destructive analysis