XRD and XRF Lab

The ISGS X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Laboratories provide high quality, analytical services for materials characterization and associated research. Sample analysis and technical consultation/interpretation are available to University of Illinois staff and researchers, as well as, external researchers and the public. Any number of samples can be submitted and sample preparation (e.g., crushing, grinding, sieving) is available. We use a variety of analytical equipment (listed below) and instrumental techniques for mineralogical analysis, with areas of specialty on the mineralogy of clays and clay minerals. Services are provided at an internal rate for the University of Illinois and at an external rate for other researchers. See the equipment and services list below. For more information, contact Martin Pentrak (mpentrak@illinois.edu; +1-217-300-5625), the XRD and XRF lab manager


   Equipment List

  1. Scintag® XDS2000 – X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis for bulk and clay minerals and XRD trace analysis with Jade+® 9.5
  2. Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (ED-XRF) facility. A custom Rigaku NEX CG system with a high-performance silicon drift detector. The lab can quantify elemental concentrations of sodium to uranium in solid, powdered, or pelletized samples from part per million to percent levels. Possible analytes include (in order of atomic weight): Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, K Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cl, V, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Br, Rb, Sr, Y, Nb, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb, Th and U.
  3. Portable Infrared Mineral Analyzer (PIMA)®
  4. Hunter® colorimeter - measures color and gives numerical values correlating to observations
  5. Shatterbox and McCrone® micronizing mills - sample size reduction




  Rates (costs per sample analysis)

XRD#            Bulk Powder     Bulk Powder (McCrone)     Clay Fraction (<2 μm)     Clay Fraction (<16 μm)

                           XBP                        MBP                                    2CLAY                               16CLAY 

Internal              $79                         $123                                      $104                                    $117                              

External             $99                         $154                                      $130                                    $147

   # all rates include sample preparation, measurement, data analysis, consultation

XRF              Bulk (solid)      Powder      Pressed Pellet       Sample Preparation*      

Internal               $20               $26                   $30                            $6.61

External              $25               $33                   $38                            $8.23

   * i.e. crushing, grinding and sieving