Scanning Microscopy


The X-ray microanalysis of thin biological samples which are usually supported on a thin organic film or are self-supporting specimens, has required the use of standards which contain the elements of interest. Spectra from the standards are used to calculate the factors for converting X-ray data recorded on the specimen into elemental concentrations. A method is discussed here, in which these factors are evaluated from formulae. The most important physical process to be evaluated is that of characteristic X-ray production in the specimen. The bremsstrahlung production must also be evaluated if the Hall or continuum normalisation (CN) method of quantitation is to be used.

This paper discusses briefly methods of calculating values for the X-ray production cross-sections for both characteristic and bremsstrahlung radiation. The way in which these are incorporated into standardless quantitation methods for biological samples is described. Calculations of some cross-section data are presented for typical analytical conditions.

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