XRF or X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometry is an elegant chemical analysis technique used frequently in many industries for quality control of materials and R&D. Despite its widespread use in industry it is an analytical technique rarely encountered by students in colleges and universities, especially in the United States. The rare exceptions to this are the geology departments in a few institutions where the technique is still used for geochemical studies. XRF units are pretty user friendly and durable as analytical instrumentation goes and quite forgiving equipment for students to learn on. I was fortunate to be introduced to XRF in the early 1990's at Franklin and Marshall College through an undergraduate research project. It was an old Diano dual tube system with a built in keyboard that looked like something out of 1960's Star Trek episode. I remember think how cool it was that we were entrusted to run the system and collect data by ourselves. Thus began my fascination with X-ray techniques and analytical geochemistry.
Outside of vendor specific educational courses it can be difficult to educate yourself or your employees about the best uses of this technique so I have assembled some of the top educational resources I have used in my career in the industry.