Attempts were made to determine low atomic number elements such as Al and Si in aerosols by XRF analysis. A simple method for correcting X-ray absorption effect for low atomic number element determination was investigated by using an intensity ratio between Compton and Thomson scattering. A linear_ relationship was found between mean atomic number [formula omitted] of a sample and the scattering X-ray ratio (ICom/IThom), as follows. [formula omitted] The mean atomic munber [formula omitted] of the aerosol sample was determined by measuring the scattering X-ray ratio (ICom/IThom). The mass attenuation coefficient (X) for the sample was then calculated from the mean atomic number [formula omitted] and the measured wavelength (λ), as [formula omitted] Finally, the correction coefficient (t), which corrects the X-ray absorption effect, was calculated from the mass attenuation coefficient (X) and the aerosol mass weight (M), as [formula omitted] Therefore, it is possible to correct the X-ray absorption effect by only measuring the scattering X-ray ratio. In order to evaluate this correction method, the same aerosol samples were analyzed by alkali fusion/ICP-AES. The corrected values of Al, Si and Ga obtained by XRF analysis agreed well with those by ICP-AES. Therefore, this correction method for the XRF analysis can be applied to the determination of low atomic number elements such as Al and Si in aerosols.
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