Scanning Microscopy


Application properties of steel can be improved considerably by alloying with nitrogen. The nitrogen may be present both as dissolved nitrogen and as nitride precipitate. It is well-known that the determination of low nitrogen content by means of X-ray microprobe analyses (EMPA) is not easy, consequently it seemed only logical to try to perform these measurements with the method of Auger electron spectroscopy ( AES) which is more sensitive as far as detection of light elements is concerned. After determining the line shape and line position of the nitrogen KLL-peak the detection limit was calculated at 0.02 at .% using a set of steel samples as reference material.

Complete quantitative Auger analyses of steel require the remeasuring of the relative sensitivity factors and, in addition, the elimination of numerous sources of errors. After this had been realized the results obtained were in good agreement with and characterized by the same precision as those of the wet chemical analysis and the X-ray microprobe.

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