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Problems in making well-defined homogeneous standards have limited the use of calibration curves and empirical formulas for quantitative electron probe analysis. Consequently, much effort in the last three years has been devoted to further study of the interactions of electrons and X-rays with matter. The goal has been to obtain more accurate values for the fundamental physical parameters, and to find better expressions to relate specimen composition and measured characteristic X-radiation. Measurements have been made of mass absorption coefficients, the electron excitation function, and the absorption correction function. The increasing availability of computers has tended to remove the restriction of simplicity in intensity formulas, so that the physical processes have been considered in more detail. In addition, computers have permitted more accurate studies of electron penetration, through Monte Carlo techniques and numerical solution of the transport equation. These latter approaches in turn have increased the need for accurate values of parameters describing the interactions of electrons with matter. The result of all these efforts should be better formulas to describe X-ray absorption, the atomic number effect, and fluorescence by characteristic lines and by the continuum.
electron probe, microanalysis, quantitative analysis, electron transport, X-ray production, X-ray absorption, X-ray emission analysis
Criss, J. W.
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.