There are two main applications of X-Ray radiation in geochemical and mineralogic research. One is to determine the crystal structure of solids (X-Ray Diffraction or XRD). The other application determines the chemical composition of samples ( X-Ray Fluorescence or XRF).
X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF)
Wavelength dispersive X-Ray fluorescence spectrometry (WD-XRF) is an excellent method for the qualitative and quantitative determination of the major and important trace elements in geological materials. For XRF analysis the sample material is irradiated with X-rays, which excite secondary X-ray fluorescence. The characteristic wavelengths and intensities of the fluorescence emission give a measure of the identity and concentration of elements in the sample.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRD)
X-ray Powder Diffraction is a method in which a beam of X-rays is directed at a fine powder of randomly oriented grains of crystalline substances. The X-rays are scattered in directions that depend on the crystal structure of the sample and the resulting X-ray diffraction pattern can uniquely identify the material.