Effect of geometrical factors on the validity of XRF spectrometer data

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The effect of source-sample-detector geometry and radiation absorption by a sample on the reliability of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry is studied. Radiation scattered by and emitted from different parts of the sample may not contribute equally to the detector signal if the geometry is not correctly chosen. This inequality may also arise if a sample is not homogeneous, so a decision on sample homogeneity can only be made if the proper geometry is designed. Circular samples 2.5 cm in diameter with a carbon surface density of 30 mg/cm2 were considered, and appropriate distances from the sample to both the Cs-137 source and the detector were found in an attempt to overcome the geometry-associated problems.

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