Nuclear Techniques ›› 2014, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (08): 80101-080101.doi: 10.11889/j.0253-3219.2014.hjs.37.080101


Synchrotron μ-XRF and XAFS in element distribution and speciation of air, soil and biological samples

YUAN Jing1,2 LUO Liqiang1,2   

  1. 1(School of Science, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China) 2(National Research Center for Geoanalysis, Beijing 100037, China)
  • Received:2014-02-20 Revised:2014-04-10 Online:2014-08-10 Published:2014-07-22
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China

Abstract: Background: Synchrotron radiation micro probe analysis technique has been improved rapidly in recent years. Accurate qualitative or quantitative information on the interest element in environmental and biological samples such as atmospheric particles, soil, plant and earthworm plays a crucial role in the understanding of the effect of these elements in the samples. However, determination of these samples with complex matrices is a difficulty in multiple disciplines. With the rapid development of this area, the synchrotron-based techniques have been introduced to this area and have been widely used in analyzing various complex samples due to its superiority in fast and non-destructive determination. Purpose: In this review, the synchrotron source and its advantages in investigation on elemental analysis of the complex natural samples are introduced. Then, the applications of Synchrotron micro-X-ray fluorescence (μ-SXRF) and Synchrotron X-ray absorption fine spectroscopy (XAFS) in atmospheric particles, soil, plant and earthworm are reviewed, covering the distribution and the speciation of elements in these samples. Methods: μ-SXRF permits in situ mapping of biologically important elements of the sample even at sub-micrometer scale so that the spatially resolved element distribution maps can be obtained. XAFS allows determination of the speciation of high heterogeneity samples by providing the element oxidation state and local coordination environment. Results and Conclusion: μ-SXRF and XAFS have been widely used in element distribution and speciation of nature samples, especially for micro scale samples or micro area of samples such as atmospheric particles, soil, plant and earthworm. It is relevant to study thoroughly the presence, source, mobilization and fate of the elements using the information. Some challenges and future perspectives of the research and the tendency of development of synchrotron radiation technology have also been suggested.

Key words: Synchrotron radiation, Synchrotron micro-X-ray fluorescence (μ-SXRF), X-ray absorption fine spectroscopy (XAFS), Atmospheric particles, Soil, Plant and animal