Scanning Microscopy


Two different modes of energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) are often used for element microanalysis: electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) and electron spectroscopic imaging (ESI).

A new approach was developed which we call Image-EELS. This procedure was realized with the commercially available standard equipment of the energy-filtering transmission microscope CEM 902 (Zeiss, Germany).

A series of energy-filtered images is recorded with ESI at many different energy losses. In a second step the intensity of selected objects is measured for each energy loss and plotted as a function of the energy loss, that means as an EELS spectrum.

This method increases the sensitivity of EELS analysis, especially for very small and irregular objects, because the lateral resolution is enhanced and the noise is suppressed by the integration of many pixels belonging to one type of object. Many spectra can be calculated from one image series, enabling the comparison of spectra from different objects. Selected images from the series can be used for ESI elemental mapping, so that errors and limits in the different mapping procedures can be detected.

Image-EELS is a synthesis of EELS and ESI and as such it constitutes a considerable progress for element microanalysis with EFTEM, not only for biological objects.

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