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    Energy Dispersion X-ray Analysis on the Scanning Electron Microscope

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    The scanning electron microscope is similar in many respects to the electron probe analyzer, but the scanning electron microscopist has a different goal and examines different specimens. The very low beam current of the scanning electron microscope requires the higher efficiency of the energy dispersion spectrometer (as compared to the wave-length dispersion type) resulting from a large solid angle, virtually 100 percent detection efficiency, and simultaneous analysis of all elements. Another advantage is that there is no confusion of lines due to the order of diffraction from a crystal. In examining rough surfaces or when working at low magnification, there is no loss of X-ray intensity because there is no geometric dependence of the energy dispersion detector. At high magnification the energy dispersion detector gives better X-ray resolution because of the smaller incident beam that can be used. The minimum detectable limits are comparable to wave-length spectrometers except for light elements, and quantitative analysis is practical. The modes of display include line scans and X-ray images in addition to point analyses. The paper discusses practical considerations in selecting and operating an energy dispersion X-ray system.


    scanning, electron microscopes, electron probes, spectrometers, dispersing, X-ray analysis, X-ray spectra, resolution, electron beams, X-ray diffraction, quantitative analysis

    Author Information:

    Russ, JC
    Applications consultantPersonal member ASTM., Jeolco (USA), Inc., Medford, Mass.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E04.11

    DOI: 10.1520/STP38573S