X-ray Fluorescence Subcommittee Agenda and Minutes

X-ray Fluorescence Subcommittee
March 16, 2005
ICDD Headquarters, Conference room A
Newtown Square, PA
G. Havrilla, Chairman

The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. Attendance sheet was passed around for roll call. The minutes of the previous meeting, March 2004, were approved. There was no liaison report as there were no motions for board action.

The subcommittee charter and responsibilities will be prepared for comment and subcommittee approval prior to the next meeting in Colorado Springs, CO, August 2005 at the Denver X-ray Conference.

The status of the RFP was presented by Tim Fawcett after a summary overview by George Havrilla. At last year’s meeting, Tim Fawcett proposed that ICDD form a (coalition) of participants to respond to an expected RFP from the FBI regarding the development of a compositional database for materials (forensics) characterization. Tim was quite successful in gathering a diverse group of participants for the RFP proposal including instrument vendors (covering EDXRF in bulk and micro instruments as well as SEM), academics and consultant experts (forensics and EDXRF). Tim proposed that ICDD use its extensive PDF database as the basis for the elemental compositional database. The new database would include both calculated composition from the molecular formula information, as well as experimental compositional values and spectra from experimentally measured data. The inclusion of instrument vendors is important for the import and export of data from proprietary data formats into the PDF. Tim prepared the RFP and received extensive comments and suggestions from all the participants. The bid was submitted in July 2004 by the required deadline. At this time, the RFP is still in suspension with no word on whether or when it will be re-activated. (Note: The program was terminated in May without an award. All participants were notified.)

Tim has proposed that ICDD move forward with plans to enter calculated compositional values based on molecular formula in the PDF. This would provide new information within the PDF and set the stage for incorporation of experimentally measured data. George Havrilla will ask for volunteers to begin collecting EDXRF data on selected materials for inclusion into the PDF. Peter Wallace suggested that atom weight percent calculations be included in the database as well as weight percent. The atom weight percent values are used by SEM practitioners. (Note: This suggestion was immediately implemented in Release 2005 that has both an atom and weight percent search.) Initiation of collecting experimental spectra on selected materials will aid in refining the data collection prior to awarding of the RFP. Tim feels this will improve the value of the PDF. George Havrilla noted this will also establish a true role for the XRF Subcommittee within the ICDD organization by materially contributing to the ICDD PDF product. By including the elemental composition as well as experimental spectra, the overall value of the database will be enhanced and offer analytical scientists a more comprehensive ability to characterize materials than just the phase alone.

One important point raised by Fred Wireko was whether the compositional information within the database will be available to customers using vendor based software. This is something that will have to be negotiated with the vendors, however, it would seem that the availability of having access to the compositional information would be a value added capability that the vendors of not only XRD instruments but EDXRF instruments would be motivated in providing to customers of their instrumentation.

Greg McCarthy suggested the use of NIST SRMs as an initial population of the compositional database. This and other suggestions will be discussed at the August meeting of the XRF Subcommittee at the Denver X-ray Conference.

A potential collaboration with the Organic and Pharmaceutical Subcommittee and the Education Subcommittee was raised by George Havrilla. The suggestion was to explore developing either some courses or workshops devoted to educating scientists not familiar with XRF for materials characterization. Of particular interest are those using XRD for pharmaceutical characterization. They are not familiar with XRF and its ability to provide elemental composition information. A short course or workshop, tailored to the use of XRF for materials characterization, specifically applied to pharmaceuticals should be explored. This could be added to the XRF clinics as well as incorporated into the PPXRD workshops that ICDD sponsors. We discussed the possibility of creating short course/workshop for the PPXRD for the next PPXRD workshop in February 2006. An outline of the course will be developed for comment and circulated to interested parties. Anyone interested in contributing to the short course is asked to contact George Havrilla.

There were no motions proposed. The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

Minutes submitted by George Havrilla.