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Quantitative Electron Probe Microanalysis of Rough Targets



Dale E. Newbury


Rough samples with topography on a scale that is much greater than the micrometer dimensions of the electron interaction volume present an extreme challenge to quantitative electron beam x-ray microanalysis with energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry. Conventional quantitative analysis procedures become subject to large systematic errors due to the action of geometric effects on electron scattering and the x-ray absorption path as compared to the ideal flat sample. The best practical approach to minimize geometric effects is specimen re-orientation using a multi-axis sample stage. When rough samples must be analyzed, corrections for geometric factors are possible through the peak-to-background method. Correction factors as a function of photon energy can be determined through the use of reference background spectra that are either measured locally or calculated from pure element spectra and estimated compositions. Significant improvements in accuracy can be achieved with the P/B method over conventional analysis, including normalized results.
Microscopy and Microanalysis


electron beam microanalysis, energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry, microbeam analysis, quantitative analysis, rough specimedns, x-ray spectrometry


Newbury, D. (2008), Quantitative Electron Probe Microanalysis of Rough Targets, Microscopy and Microanalysis (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created October 16, 2008