Soil analysis by thin-film energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Analytica chimica acta. - Amsterdam
, p. 93-101
University of Antwerp
Energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence is advantageous for trace analysis of soils present as thin films. A target thickness of about 2 mg cm-2 provides a compromise between optimal sensitivity and minimal absorption effect or optimal accuracy. Sample preparation involves only suspending the finely ground soil in water and drying this suspension on a thin mylar foil glued on a ring that fits into the x.r.f. spectrometer. The effective sample weight present in the exciting beam area is computed from the scatter peaks, a method that cancels out target heterogeneity problems. High accuracy is demonstrated for many elements in reference soil and rock materials; a precision around 5% and a detection limit around 10 ppm can be achieved. As an illustration, results for 16 trace elements and preliminary interpretation are given for a series of pedologically important soil samples from Brasil.