Chapter 3: X-ray Fluorescence
Published:03 Jun 2010
Although X- ray fluorescence technique, in principle, belongs to an atomic method, it is often cataloged into nuclear discipline, especially those based on nuclear facilities, e.g. accelerator, isotopic sources and radiation detection spectrometry. Because of its non-destructive and multi-elemental analytical characteristic, excellent analytical sensitivity and spatial resolution under micro-beam condition where the size of the excited X-ray can be regulated with a slit or focusing system, this technique is capable of microscopic analysis, supplying information about 2D distributions of trace elements. The technique can, thus, be used for imaging of trace elements in biological and environmental specimen, also for the direct determination of trace elements in protein bands after slab-gel electrophoresis (GE), which is the benchmark for high-resolution protein separation, particularly in two-dimensional (2-D) format. Therefore, XRF is a useful technique for metallomics and meralloproteomics studies. In this chapter, the physical principles, facilities, the experimental arrangements and data processing of XRF are introduced briefly. The XRF analytical procedure and its applications in the metalloproteomics field are discussed emphatically. The outlook and challenges of the technique are also outlined.