Fast TXRF Multi-Element Trace Analysis


The S2 PICOFOX, manufactured by Bruker, is the world’s first portable benchtop spectrometer for fast quantitative and semi-quantitative multi-element microanalysis of liquids, suspensions, solids and contaminations using TXRF (Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy).

The S2 PICOFOX is highly sensitive and ideal for trace element analysis, with detection limits in the ppb and ppm range. The system is particularly suited to working with very small sample quantities, liquids with high matrix content and research involving frequently changing sample types.

No cooling medium is required, so the analyser can be used not only in the laboratory but also for on-site analysis in the field.


  • Simultaneous multi-element trace analysis inc. halogenides
  • Analyse small sample amounts in the nanogram or microgram range
  • Simple quantification using an internal standard
  • Extremely flexible – analyse a wide variety of sample types
  • Use in the lab or on-site in the field
  • No matrix or memory effects
  • Low running costs – no consumables or maintenance
  • Alternative to ICP-MS – Easier sample preparation and shorter sampling time

The S2 PICOFOX is independent of liquid nitrogen and cooling water. With a maximum power consumption of only 180 watts the compact, portable TXRF spectrometer is especially suited for mobile applications. It features:

  • Compact, air-cooled micro focus X-ray tube with metal-ceramics technology
  • Multilayer X-ray optics for beam focusing and monochromatization
  • Latest Peltier-cooled, high resolution XFlash® detector (SDD)

For further specifications, please refer to the brochure.

Working principle

The S2 PICOFOX working principle is based on total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) analysis:

An air-cooled X-ray tube typically with molybdenum target generates an X-ray beam, which is reduced to a narrow energy range by a multilayer monochromator. The fine beam impinges on a polished sample carrier at a very small angle (< 0.1°) and is totally reflected. The characteristic fluorescence of the sample is emitted and measured in an energy-dispersive X-ray detector. Due to the short distance to the carrier, the fluorescence yield is very high and the absorption by air is very low.

Advantages compared to XRF spectrometers

Due to the use of monochromatic radiation and total reflection optics the S2 PICOFOX provides the following benefits:

  • Reduced absorption and scattering effects in the sample matrix
  • Enhanced fluorescence yield
  • Reduced background noise
  • Higher sensitivity to elements present in trace amounts


  • Authentication – in pharmaceuticals and forensics
  • Contamination analysis of wafers, solar cells, OLEDs and nano-particles
  • Quality control of pure substances and industrial products
  • Clinical chemistry – tissues and biological liquids
  • Food – nutrients, dietary supplements and beverages – more info
  • Environmental analysis – contamination of water and soil