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In a rapidly moving field like X-ray fluorescence analysis, instrument manufacturers are hard-pressed to provide adequate instrumentation for commercial utilization of the latest techniques. Many components of the presently available instruments are performing adequately, but it takes little imagination to see that some other components will require considerable improvement before they will be completely satisfactory to the routine user. It is the author's intention here to review existing components and to point out needed improvements. Before discussing at length what is wrong with X-ray fluorescence instrumentation it is only fair to note that many instruments of this type are carrying out high-speed, quantitative analyses on a routine basis. All elements of atomic number greater than 11 can be analyzed for on a quantitative basis, and probably all elements with atomic number greater than 20 can be detected in the range of 1 to 10 ppm in an analytical time that is competitive with that of any other analytical technique. The precision of the X-ray technique is usually greater than that of any analytical technique available for calibrating the X-ray method. However, better precision is always being asked for.
Kemp, J. W.
Applied Research Laboratories, Inc., Glendale, Calif.