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XRF Screening - A Reality Check
Keywords: XRF , non-destructive, screening
RoHS compliance has created an urgent need for analytical instrumentation for screening electronic components and subsequent confirmatory analyses of suspected items by laboratory methods. X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzers, portable and bench top, are considered the most effective screening tools for nondestructive evaluation of electronic components for RoHS compliance. Laboratory methods for suspected parts range from Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AA) to Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) for elemental analysis and FTIR/GCMS, SEM, and UV-VIS techniques for determination of Cr and Br compounds. Both XRF screening and laboratory results have come under scrutiny as of late in several papers. Interpretation of RoHS directives as it applies to calculation of prohibited elemental concentration, the nature of electronic components such as size and heterogeneity, lack of representative calibration standards for complex matrix formations, and unfamiliarity with analytical techniques have all contributed to perplexity in screening process. This presentation will provide an overview of the XRF technology as it is applied to electronic components. The effectiveness of XRF method and its limitations as a screening tool and discuss the contributing factors in obtaining accurate measurements.
Sia Afshari, Product Manager
RMD Instruments, LLC
Watertown, MA

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