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Measures for Spectral Quality in Low-Voltage X-Ray Microanalysis



Dale E. Newbury


Characteristic x-ray production with energetic electrons depends strongly on the overvoltage, the ratio of the incident beam energy to the critical excitation energy for the atomic species of interest. Low voltage x-ray microanalysis (beam energy < 5 keV) is expecially susceptible to artifacts due to sample charging because the overvoltage is low and evenslight charging can strongly affect peak intensities. The Duane-Hunt bremstrahlung limit is a good diagnostic to detect sample charging. Dynamic charging effects, however, can influence spectra despite an apparently satisfactory Duane-Hunt limit. Dynamic charging effects must be examined by time series experiments, or through use of dynamic energy windows continuously measuring count rates placed across the spectrum. When charging is a problem, conductive surface coatings can eliminate the effects. When pristine surfaces must be examined without coating, the use of a conductive grid can control charging so that useful x-ray spectra can be obtained.
No. 6


charging, conducting grid method, Duane-Hunt limit, electron beam x-ray microanalysis, overvoltage, x-ray spectrometry


Newbury, D. (2000), Measures for Spectral Quality in Low-Voltage X-Ray Microanalysis, Scanning (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created November 1, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017