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By utilizing the total reflecting properties of x-rays inside glass capillary tubes, intensive fine- or microbeams of x-rays can be attained. By using a conventional x-ray tube in combination with capillary technique, microbeams with a diameter of a few μm and with an intensity sufficient for trace elements, analyses have been achieved. By moving the sample, lineand areascan can be performed and trace element information can be directly superimposed on a micrograph from a built-in optical microscope.
The background of the capillary technique is reviewed and an EDXRF microbeam spectrometer for trace elements is described. Examples of applications for the microbeam spectrometer are given.