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EDS measurements of x-ray intensity at WDS precision and accuracy using a silicon drift detector



Nicholas Ritchie, Dale E. Newbury, Jeffrey M. Davis


The accuracy and precision of x-ray intensity measurements with an silicon drift detector (SDD) are compared with the same measurements performed on a wavelength spectrometer (WDS) for a variety of elements in a variety of materials. In cases of major (> 0.10 mass fraction) and minor (>0.01 mass fraction), the SDD is demonstrated to perform as well or better than the WDS spectrometer. This is demonstrated both for simple cases in which the spectral peaks don't interfere like Au/Ag and Au/Cu and for more difficult cases in which the spectral peaks have significant interferences like the Ba L / Ti K lines in a series of Ba/Ti/Si glasses. Furthermore, we demonstrate that even in the case of significant interference that high count SDD spectra are capable of accurately measuring Ti in glasses with Ba/Ti mass fraction ratios from 2.7 : 1 to 23.8 : 1. The results suggest that for many measurements wavelength spectrometry can be readily replaced with an SDD with improved accuracy and precision.
Microscopy and Microanalysis


EPMA, silicon drift detector, x-ray, wavelength spectrometer, WDS, SDD


Ritchie, N. , Newbury, D. and Davis, J. (2012), EDS measurements of x-ray intensity at WDS precision and accuracy using a silicon drift detector, Microscopy and Microanalysis, [online],, (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created July 30, 2012, Updated March 8, 2023