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Total reflection X-rays fluorescence (TXRF) is a surface elemental analysis technique often used for the ultra-trace analysis of particles, residues, and impurities on smooth surfaces. TXRF is widely used for the analysis of trace amounts of materials or trace contents in liquid samples.

The excitation is made with a line collimated parallel beam, which impinges upon a polished flat sample carrier at angles below the critical angle of external Total reflection for X-rays. In such arrangement most of the excitation beam photons are totally reflected at this surface. The sample, which is effectively the small particles adhered to the surface (like impurities in Si wafers) or the residue deposited in a polished sample carrier, is seen as a very thin sample under a very small angle. Due to this configuration, the measured spectral background in TXRF is less than in conventional XRF. This reduction results in increased signal to noise ratio, thus attaining absolute detection limits in the order of picograms at conventional laboratory conditions.

The instrument available at NSIL has the following characteristics:

x-ray tube


Anode material


Max. HV (kV)


Max current (uA)


Excitation spectrum modifiers

Multilayer monochromator



Effective area (mm2):


Energy resolution (eV):

155 eV

Sample holder:

12 positions, automatic changer

Calibrations for quantitative analysis:

Internal standard

Spectra export: