Scanning Microscopy


An analytical particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) procedure for the multielement analysis of biological materials consists of various stages. These include sample and specimen preparation, specimen bombardment, spectral data processing, quantification and correction for matrix effects. Critical aspects of the procedure are contamination and/or losses during sample and specimen preparation and the danger of radiation or heat-induced losses during specimen bombardment. With optimized PIXE procedures precisions of 1-2% and an accuracy of better than 5% are obtainable, whereas the detection limits are down to 0.1 μg/g. Because of its inherent characteristics, PIXE offers great potential for trace element analysis in the biological and medical fields, and this is demonstrated through selected examples of applications.

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