Earth Sciences


WDXRF Laboratory

The X-Ray Fluorescence Laboratory houses a Thermo Scientific ARL Perform'X XRF system.

XRF is used for the analysis of bulk samples and provides a rapid, non-destructive, low-cost method for determining the elemental composition of a sample. Bombarding a sample with an X-ray beam and collecting the X-rays that are re-emitted, it is more sensitive than the X-ray spectrometer in the electron microscopes and can detect elements down to the 10-parts-per-million level. It provides a highly quantitative analysis which is very useful when determining trace concentrations in minerals and other materials.

The lab is equipped with a Herzon TP20 200kN pellet press for making samples from powders. There is also a Claisse M4 gas fusion furnace for the production of fused beads.

The lab is routinely used by several departments within SMU including Anthropology, Chemistry, Engineering, as well as Geology, and on occasion is used by staff and students from nearby Universities.

The XRF laboratory is operated as a cost center within the Department. At present, non-profit users are charged a fee per sample. SMU graduate students are exempt from these fees if they have no external sources of research support. Commercial (for-profit) users are charged a different fee per sample. Additional sample prep fees will apply. Rates are adjusted occasionally to reflect increasing costs.

Those interested in services provided by the XRF Laboratory should contact:

Roy Beavers