X-ray fluorescence (XRF)

X-ray fluorescence provides information on the elemental composition of your material

X-ray fluorescences provides information on the elemental composition of your material. The instrument is capable of collecting x-ray fluorescence data on a wide range of sample types be that solids, powders or liquids.

The laboratory can provide a variety of services in ambient conditions including:

  • Elemental composition of materials
  • Data interpretation and analysis
  • Consultancy and integration into research programs


Instrument: S2 PUMA
Manufacturer: Bruker

The Bruker S2 PUMA is an energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer for elemental analysis of materials. With the XY Autochanger the instrument is capable of autonomous analysis of up to 20 samples.


The XRF can be operated by researchers or on a fee for service basis by MCFP platform staff. Trained users can book through the MCFP's iLab booking system. Please contact Raveen Wijesuriya to arrange access or training.

Access MCFP

Sample preparation

As a guide, powders should have the consistency of flour – dry, and ground to ~50µm particle size. Ideally, 5g is required, but this can be as small as 1g, depending on the analysis required.

Sample cups (elemental identification), pellet press (semi-quantification of elements), and fusion instrument (quantification of elements) are all available for XRF sample preparation.

The XRD lab has an agate mortar and pestle along with a micronising mill to reduce the particle size of  samples. Small test sieves (32 - 500µm) are also available to determine particle size.

For solid samples, the maximum size for standard data collection is 39mm in diameter, 10mm high. The sample surface must be flat.

Additional resources

Further information on the Bruker S2