Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) provides elemental analysis through the measurement of x-ray energy emitted from a sample.  At Microtrace, EDS detectors are present on both our conventional and field emission scanning electron microscopes, our transmission electron microscope, and our x-ray fluorescence microspectrometer.  These techniques range in sensitivity from about 0.1 weight percent (SEM-EDS and TEM-EDS) down to as low as 10’s of ppm for micro-XRF.

We typically use the method qualitatively to assist us with the identification of small particles as analyses can be obtained from sub-micron particles or through the production of elemental maps, which show the distribution of a particular element.  The data can also be useful for semi-quantitative or even quantitative analysis under more carefully controlled conditions.  For example, Microtrace has participated in an NIJ sponsored working group which developed an ASTM method for the quantitative comparison of glasses by micro-XRF spectroscopy.  Metal alloy identification is another common use for semi-quantitative EDS data.

Microtrace maintains a state of the art inventory of EDS hardware and software, which permit the detection of elements from beryllium (Be) through uranium (U), elemental analysis, drift correction, and automated particle analysis (e.g., GSR analysis).


Related standardized methods: ASTM C1723, E1508, E1588, E2809, F1375

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