Application Notes

  • Elec01 (XGT03) : Micro-XRF analysis for the Electronics Industry.
  • Elec02 (XGT04) : Quality control and defect analysis in the electronics industry using micro-XRF.
  • Elec03 (XGT05) : Fast thickness measurement of thin metal coatings by micro-XRF.

For a list of all available application notes please click here

With the adoption of the RoHS (Restriction of the use Of certain Hazardous Substances) and ELV (End of Life Vehicles) by European member states there are strict limits to the concentrations of Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, hexavalent Chromium and certain brominated polymers which can be incorporated into electronic/electric appliances.

XRF offers a fast, non-destructive method of screening for these restricted elements, with detection limits orders of magitude below the current limits. Small spot analysis is an important criterion for successful analysis, since the analysis beam must match the sample size. With the 1.2mm beam offered on the XGT systems optimised for RoHS/ELV accurate analysis can be made on individual components and cables, as well as bulk samples (metals, solder, raw materials) and large circuit boards.

Imaging micro-XRF instruments such as the XGT-5200WR offer additional analysis capabilites – entire circuit boards can be mapped, to show the distribution of the restricted elements. In addition, transmitted X-ray imaging can be used to diagnose solder faults and short circuits on the board.

Key areas which benefit from micro-XRF include:

  • RoHS and ELV compliance testing of
  • Raw materials
  • Components / integrated chips
  • Circuit boards
  • Cables
  • Plastics
  • Metals
  • Solder
  • Multi-layer thickness analysis
  • Contaminant and defect analysis


Spectrum of two components, one showing high concentrations of Lead (340 ppm) and Cadmium (420 ppm), whilst the other has negligible Lead and just 25 ppm of Cadmium.


Analysis of a populated circuit board before and after implementation of lead free soldering techniques. The presence of Lead solder is clearly visible in the left hand image, used to fix an IC and other components to the board. The distribution of Copper circuits and Nickel are also shown.

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