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Boron Substrates for the X-Ray Microanalysis of Particles



Eric S. Windsor, Dale E. Newbury, J Kessler


Boron is available commercially as high purity (> 0.995) crystalline pieces. Using metallographic sample preparation techniques, these crystalline pieces can be prepared to form substrates that are useful for the x-ray microanalysis of particles. Boron is desirable as a substrate because its low atomic number will minimize interference with particle generated x-rays. Boron substrates are a non-toxic alternative to beryllium planchets. They are particularly useful for the analysis of carbon-containing particles. Metallographic sample preparation of boron substrates involves sectioning the crystalline pieces into thin slices, mounting the slices in epoxy and then grinding and polishing. Polished substrate surfaces are flat and smooth with RMS roughness values of less than 5 nm. Particles on these surfaces are easily observed and analyzed. Electron probe analysis of the polished boron substrates indicates that they retain their high purity during sample preparation with the introduction of only trace levels of contamination.
Microscopy and Microanalysis


boron, carbonaceous particles, electron probe microanalyzer, low background, scanning electron microscope, substrates, x-ray microanalysis


Windsor, E. , Newbury, D. and Kessler, J. (1999), Boron Substrates for the X-Ray Microanalysis of Particles, Microscopy and Microanalysis (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created January 1, 1999, Updated February 17, 2017