Sample preparation for XRF analysis – liquids

1920x650 Liquid

Why sample preparation?

One of the many benefits of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry is that they require only very simple preparation of samples for analysis. However, XRF delivers the most accurate and reliable measurements when you pay close attention to this vital part of the analytical process. The main reasons for sample preparation are:

  1. To get the material in the correct form to fit into the spectrometer
  2. To minimize effects such as: particle size effect, mineralogical effect, surface roughness.

Most liquids can be analyzed without further treatments. Simply use a specially developed plastic cup, which has a protective foil that functions as an X-ray transparent window. From oils and fuels to water or concentrated acid solutions, there’s always a safe and practical way of analyzing liquid samples by XRF.


Liquid sample cups

Malvern Panalytical offers dedicated, single-use, sample cups in 32 or 40 mm diameter, with corresponding lids. Carefully designed and with high standards in production control, these cups assure safety in operation and that you will get the best analytical conditions for any liquid (or loose powder) samples.


The selection of the best-suited foil for a specific application is fundamental to guarantee the integrity of the cup and spectrometer as well as good analytical results. Factors such as chemical resistance to the samples (polymer composition), presence of low-level contaminants, thickness (robustness versus transmittance) and presentation form (convenience of use) all play a role in the selection process.

Non-assembled or pre-assembled cups

Usually, cups are provided as separate plastic parts that you can easily assemble just prior to use with the chosen foil. Alternatively, Malvern Panalytical also offers ready-to-use, pre-assembled cups with different foil choices. This may be an interesting alternative if you want to avoid any hassle with cup assemblage.

Previously in the seven-part series on ‘Sample preparation for XRF analysis’:

Watch out for more blogs in the series on “Sample preparation for XRF analysis” in the course of this year XRF analysis in the course of this year.

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