The Instrument

This Olympus Vanta portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) scanner can be operated in two modes:

  1. mounted onto the MSCL-XYZ
  2. mounted on a workstation/test chamber (see picture above)

Mounted to the MSCL-XYZ is the ideal set-up for core samples, whereas the workstation mode is suitable for discrete samples.

Major benefits of analysing samples by portable XRF scanning:

  • Quick – measurement time is about 30 seconds per voltage
  • Adjustable – depending on the elements of interest, measurement settings can be adjusted
  • Versatile – can be used on core and discrete samples.

For samples that are less suitable to analyse using our XRF scanner, this portable XRF scanner may provide a solution.

Samples and Methods

The portable XRF scanner is primarily designed for discrete sample measurements. However, mounted to the MSCL-XYZ, the portable XRF scanner can be used as an automated scanning device.

Samples successfully analysed by the portable XRF scanner:

  • Discrete rock, sediment, and fossil samples
  • Sediment cores

Sample preparation

No specific preparation is needed in principle. However, a flat surface yields the most reproducible readings.

Measurement procedure

Depending on the mode in which the portable XRF scanner is operated (i.e., mounted to the MSCL-XYZ, or with the workstation) the scanner is operated in a manual or automated mode.

Data and Applications

Elemental concentrations are output in counts per second (cps) and/or parts per million (ppm). Depending on sample preparation, it is important to realise the for most applications these measurements are semi-quantitative (not corrected for grain size, water content of sample, etc.).

Scientific Applications

Portable XRF-scanning allows for the following scientific applications:

  • Rapid assessment of sediment make up
  • Lithological and sedimentological descriptions
  • Investigations into pollutants, heavy metals, rare Earth elements
  • Palaeoclimatic, -oceanographic, and -environmental research
  • Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology