Sciencemadness Discussion Board


quirkzunc - 21-9-2008 at 01:29

Does anyone know where I can get some good fundamental knowledge of the principles of XRF measurement?

not_important - 21-9-2008 at 20:04

Might start here, see how that matches what you are looking for

JohnWW - 21-9-2008 at 21:27

Simply look up "X-ray fluorescence" (in double quotation marks) on Google! That gives 651,000 results to choose from, including:

Selecting only PDF and DJVU documents by adding: filetype:PDF OR filetype:DJVU
reduces the number to 61,000, including:

Rapidshare or other downloads of textbooks or handbooks on the subject are at: (Handbook Of Spectroscopy)

A BitTorrent download of relevant books is at:

neptunium - 23-5-2018 at 17:00

i know i am way late (as usual) and its been done before but i thought it was relevant ...

[Edited on 24-5-2018 by neptunium]

Ozone - 23-5-2018 at 17:32

There are also a number of useful phone apps (energy tables, etc.). You might want to check out Cody on YouTube; he's recently acquired a handheld and demonstrates it with a variety of interesting samples--with the usual explanations as he goes. e.g.

See also (including a DIY rig that seems to work):


neptunium - 23-5-2018 at 17:34

Yes Cody's lab is one of my favorite home science guy!! But he has a lot more time and financial freedom !

stamasd - 24-5-2018 at 18:03

There's information on building and using your own setup on the forums at
The board admin himself has built one to analyze precious metal alloys. There are a few other very knowledgeable people there.

neptunium - 26-5-2018 at 17:30

neptunium - 27-5-2018 at 18:09

neptunium - 27-5-2018 at 19:13

Cezium - 30-5-2018 at 22:16

neptunium> what is the source of xrays that you used?

neptunium - 4-6-2018 at 17:09

It's a Phillips rotating anode I found on eBay years ago.. it's powered by a 24VAC transformer for the anode ,a regulated DC power supply for the filament and a Glassman high voltage DC. It's a rather large tube incased in a thick aluminum housing.

Cezium - 5-6-2018 at 23:34

I salvaged two decommissioned NaI(Tl) probes from my work and a driver planing to build XRF. As a Xray source I got twelve 241Am sources from smoke detectors each around 10kBq or tube from mammograph an CT HV source as an alternative. But the probes driver is an old one with serial port and proprietary software that I dont have. I want to try use its HV part and combine it to SoundCard input with free SW, but something like this would be nice :)

neptunium - 6-6-2018 at 07:46

The more concentrated the x ray beam is, the more accurate the detection will be and the more power you`ll put in your xrays, the quicker the spectrum will be ready for review. 10 source of Am241 will certainly work but you`ll be surprised how long it takes. I tried..

The problem with NaI(Tl) is the resolution at low energy. I dont usually look too far below about 100Kev with the NaI detector.It works great for higher energy like Co60 and K40 though.
The Xray detector is the opposite its terrible at picking up any high energy but is doing a great job with good resolution untill around 10Kev. lower than that and the peaks are bunched up together and it become difficult to say for sure if i am looking at Iron (6.40Kev) or Cr (5.41Kev).
If it does not introduce too much noise, some electronics (bias, pulse shaping etc) might be of some help.. After all isnt it what home science is all about ?

[Edited on 6-6-2018 by neptunium]

stamasd - 16-6-2018 at 02:22

When I clear my backlog of other projects (I have about 10 or 12 ongoing at this time) I plan on trying some XRF experiments. For low energy gammas/Xrays an alternative detector can be a PIN diode, or array thereof. There are some large PIN photodiodes that can be had cheaply (BPW34 and others) which can play this role if shielded from light. They have a low active volume thus not much stopping power for higher energy gammas (above 100keV) but can give decent energy resolution below that.

neptunium - 16-6-2018 at 03:42

i am not sufficiently knowledgeable about electronic to be able to make this work ..but if you can, i`ll be curious to see the result! absolutely!

stamasd - 16-6-2018 at 04:51

Here are some examples:
A practical circuit ( a little unconventional):
Maxim application note: This functions only as a pulse counter.
Another practical circuit (also only counts pulses i.e. Geiger mode) :
A practical build for gamma spectroscopy:
A simple but IMHO inaccurate circuit:
A paper including practical circuit and comparison with a high performance detector:

neptunium - 19-6-2018 at 10:44

Very cool! this gives me all kinds of ideas!! thanks for sharing that!