Application Note




The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) is a compliance directive that holds companies directly responsible for ensuring their electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) conforms to strict standards. This directive requires that products cannot contain lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and four different phthalates above specifically set amounts. These restricted materials are hazardous to the environment, pollute landfills, and are dangerous regarding occupational exposure during manufacturing and recycling.

The European Union was the first to adopt such directives, but since its inception, California, China, Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, and India, have joined the push for compliance and responsibility by creating similar requirements. RoHS has quickly become imperative for companies participating in the global market.

X-ray Fluorescence is the preferred method for non-destructively testing materials for RoHS compliance. Micro X-ray Fluorescence (μ-XRF) analysis is an accurate, rapid test method for elemental analysis. The IXRF Systems ATLAS μXRF unit has micron-level spatial resolution capability for spot analysis and elemental mapping.

RoHS specifies maximum levels for the following six restricted materials:

  • Lead (Pb): <1000 ppm
  • Mercury (Hg): <100 ppm
  • Cadmium (Cd): <100 ppm
  • Hexavalent Chromium (Cr VI): <1000 ppm
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB): <1000 ppm
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE): <1000ppm

ATLAS can easily detect restricted materials well below the required maximum levels, providing added assurance of compliance.

With ATLAS Stage Mapping, large samples can be quickly mapped for the identification of problem materials. It is not necessary y to know what elements are present before collecting a map. Elements can be added as the spectrum grows and peaks become evident.

Included below the elemental maps is the sum spectrum, allowing for quick identification of any problem material’s presence.

ATLAS features a “go to” function that allows a small area of interest to be selected and automatically moves the stage back to that area for further investigation.

In ATLAS Stage Maps, a true spectrum is collected at every pixel, allowing for true data processing and understanding of any area with in a large map. Even after the sample is gone from the lab, the data remains, allowing for further investigation.

Materials tested include a wide range of components: circuit boards, polymers, medical devices, coated surfaces, and many more. The ATLAS has the ability to rapidly map the sample surface for elemental distribution. Micro XRF is designed to meet regulatory testing requirements for RoHS II and other programs.

MicroXRF analysis of a PCB

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RoHS circuit boards

ATLAS M microEDXRF System

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