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X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Spectroscopy 

elemental analysis with in-person and zoom options

Elemental Analysis using XRF

Find out what elements are in your samples at the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN) on the UNL campus. Students are able to meet with scientists to determine the elemental composition. The XRF uses a palladium source of radiation to excite the electrons and measures the energy emitted as electrons move between valences. This transition energy is special for each element. This method can detect elements between fluorine and uranium on the periodic table.
Illustration showing how x-ray Fluorescence spectroscopy works by changing the energy state of electrons.

Research Question:

  • How will metals content of soil affect the metals found in vegetables? 
  • Students are encouraged to develop their own hypothesis if they are interested in a different topic.

Students will:

  • Collect samples and send them to the NCMN for preparation
  • Meet with scientists either in-person or online to process their samples and discuss the results

Lab skills learned:

  • Sample collection and preparation
  • How does XRF work
  • What is Bragg's Law

Elemental Analysis Using XRF

Instructional Materials - Coming Soon

Lab Manual

Teacher Guides

Copy goes here.

Instructional Power Point

Timeline of Activities

Student Materials

Video Resources

Ready to Get Started?

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