The intensity of Ar Kα line was reduced by a factor of 17 times by flowing more than 400 mL min - 1 of N 2 gas through gas pipe placed at the gap between the X-ray detector and the sample stage of the total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectrometer. The signal-to-background ratios of characteristic X-rays with energies less than 8 keV were improved by flowing N 2 gas owing to the reduction of peak pileups related to the Ar Kα peak. The improvement of the signal-to-background ratios became significant as the energies of the characteristic X-rays approached that of the Ar Kα line (2.96 keV) for characteristic X-rays with energies less than 5 keV. When 1 μL of solution containing 10 mg L - 1 cadmium (10 ng) was measured with the TXRF spectrometer by flowing N 2 gas, Cd Lα line was clearly observed, although the Cd Lα line overlapped with the Ar K lines without flowing N 2 gas. The lower limit of detection of cadmium evaluated from the Cd Lα line was improved from 7.0 to 2.2 ng by flowing N 2 gas. This N 2 gas flowing technique can be applied to trace element analysis of cadmium in solutions which do not contain potassium such as leaching solutions from products containing cadmium in TXRF and conventional XRF measurements.
- Ar Kα line
- Cd Lα line
- Nitrogen gas
- Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF)