Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Physical Sciences Reviews







Publisher Name

De Gruyter


Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectrometry is a non-destructive and surface sensitive multi-element analytical method based on energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry with detection limits in the lower picogram range. It utilizes the total reflection of the primary X-ray beam at or below the critical angle of incidence. At this angle, the fluorescence intensity is substantially enhanced for samples present as small granular residue or as thin homogenous layer deposited at the surface of a thick substrate. Generally, two types of application exist: micro- and trace-analysis as well as surface and thin-layer analysis. For micro- and traceanalysis, a small amount of the solid or liquid sample is deposited on an optically flat substrate, typically quartz or polycarbonate. The dried residue is analyzed at a fixed angle setting slightly below the critical angle. Quantification is carried out by means of internal standardization. For surface and thin-layer analysis, the surface of an optically flat substrate is scanned. Variations of the incident angle of the primary X-ray beam provide information about the type and sometimes also the amount of material present at or slightly below the surface of the substrate. Major fields of application are environmental samples, biological tissues, objects of cultural heritage, semiconductors and thin-layered materials and films.


Author Posting © Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of Walter de Gruyter GmbH for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Physical Sciences Reviews, Volume 4, Issue 7, March 2019,

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.