Scanning Electron Microscopy


X-ray spectroscopy has become an essential tool for obtaining local chemical constituent data, particularly for identifying features observed in imaging systems. This tutorial paper is intended to introduce the basic ideas of X-ray spectroscopy, especially to the newcomer to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The primary focus is on energy-dispersive analysis (EDS); however, the close parallels with wavelength-dispersive analysis (WDS) are shown. Topics include electron beam-specimen interactions, X-ray generation and detection, spectral analysis, approaches to quantitation, and limits of detection and resolution.

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