X-ray fluorescence analysis
XRF functions as follows: highly energetic X-rays knock photoelectrons out of the inner shell of the atoms in the glass samples. These electrons leave behind unstable vacancies. Electrons from the outer shell, which have a higher energy level, fill these vacancies. Excess energy in the form of secondary X-ray photons are thus released. The emitted X-ray fluorescence radiation is decomposed by the diffraction on crystals. The wavelengths of this radiation are characteristic for the elements in the sample and for their atomic number. The intensity of the radiation is proportional to the concentration of the element in the sample.
The classic wet-chemical analysis is indispensable: measuring samples with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES).
Laser ablation-inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry
With this method, material is taken from a glass sample with the help of a laser. The test material is converted to argon plasma with inert gas. Positively charged ions of the elements are produced at temperatures of around 7,000 degrees Kelvin. These are then separated and identified using mass spectrometry.
Laser ICP-MS is an analytical method that allows a fast charac-terization of secondary constitu-ents, traces and ultratraces.