Todays demand for rapid trace element analysis in pollution control and resource materials has led to the development of a completely automatic, very sensitive and stable Si(Li) X-ray analyzer. The key element, a transmission target tube, which has inherently a very clean monochromatic X-ray output, has been studied in view of efficiency, sensitivity and stability. The transmission target tube requires different operating criteria than conventional X-ray tubes. An analysis was made to “explain” these differences using fundamental X-ray physics. Studies included various experiments directly applied to practical problems in analysis of pollutants and mineral resource materials.