Scanning Microscopy


The line shapes of Kα, Lα,β and Mα X-ray peaks of pure elements were analyzed by means of commercial wavelength dispersive spectrometers (WDS) attached to an electron probe micro-analyzer (EPMA). A pseudo-Voigt function, i.e., a linear combination of Gaussian and Lorentzian distributions, was used as a fitting profile for the X-ray peaks, with Gaussian offsets incorporated in the short wavelength (high energy) side to describe the observed asymmetry.

The asymmetry of X-ray peaks resulting from both instrumental distortions and satellite bands may lead to discrepancies in quantitative analysis with the EPMA as a function of the procedure used for deriving X-ray intensities from WDS spectra, e.g., peak height, peak area, or peak decomposition. These effects have been illustrated by analyzing gold-copper metallic alloys and minerals containing gold at trace levels.

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