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The Analysis of Particles at Low Accelerating Voltages (



John A. Small


In recent years, there have been a series of advancements in electron beam instruments and x-ray detectors which may make it possible to improve significantly the quality of results from the quantitative electron-probe analysis of individual particles. These advances include: (1) field-emission gun electron beam instruments such as scanning electron microscopes, FEG-SEMs, that have high brightness electron guns with excellent performance at low beam energies, EO less than or equal to 10 keV. (2) High-resolution energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometers, like the microcalorimeter detector, that provide high-resolution, less than 10eV, parallel x-ray collection. These devices make it possible to separate low energy less than or equal to 4 keV x-ray lines including the K lines of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen and the L and M lines for elements with atomic numbers in the range of 25-83. In light of these advances, this paper investigates the possibliity of using accelerating voltages less than or equal to 10 kV, as a method to improve the accuracy of elemental analysis for micrometer-sized particles.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -
107 No. 6


electron probe analysis, low voltage analysis, particle analysis, scanning electron microscope, x-ray microanalysis


Small, J. (2002), The Analysis of Particles at Low Accelerating Voltages (<= 10 kV) With Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS), Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed February 27, 2024)
Created November 1, 2002, Updated February 17, 2017