A system that incorporates teachings of the present disclosure may include, for example, an apparatus having a collimator having at least one aperture and a fluorescence detector. The collimator can be positioned next to a compound. The compound can emit fluorescence X-rays when impacted by an X-ray beam generated by an X-ray source. The collimator can absorb at least a first portion of the fluorescence X-rays emitted by the compound and release at least a second portion of the fluorescence X-rays at the at least one aperture.
The second portion of the fluorescence X-rays released by the at least one aperture have known directional information based on a position of the collimator. The fluorescence detector can detect the second portion of the fluorescence X-rays released by the at least one aperture. A three-dimensional (3-D) rendering of an elemental distribution of the compound can be determined from the fluorescence X-rays detected and the directional information.