Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 11, pp 2711–2721 | Cite as

Phase identification of individual crystalline particles by combining EDX and EBSD: application to workplace aerosols

  • Torunn Kringlen ErvikEmail author
  • Nathalie Benker
  • Stephan Weinbruch
  • Asbjørn Skogstad
  • Yngvar Thomassen
  • Dag G. Ellingsen
  • Balázs Berlinger
Research Paper


This paper discusses the combined use of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) to identify unknown phases in particulate matter from different workplace aerosols. Particles of α-silicon carbide (α-SiC), manganese oxide (MnO) and α-quartz (α-SiO2) were used to test the method. Phase identification of spherical manganese oxide particles from ferromanganese production, with diameter less than 200 nm, was unambiguous, and phases of both MnO and Mn3O4 were identified in the same agglomerate. The same phases were identified by selected area electron diffraction (SAED) in transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The method was also used to identify the phases of different SiC fibres, and both β-SiC and α-SiC fibres were found. Our results clearly demonstrate that EBSD combined with EDX can be successfully applied to the characterisation of workplace aerosols.

Graphical abstract

Secondary electron image of an agglomerate of manganese oxide particles collected at a ferromanganese smelter (a). EDX spectrum of the particle highlighted by an arrow (b). Indexed patterns after dynamic background subtraction from three particles shown with numbers in a (c)


Aerosols/particulates Workplace Electron backscatter diffraction Phase identification Electron microscopy 



The financial support by the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise Working Environment Fund is gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

216_2018_949_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (421 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 421 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torunn Kringlen Ervik
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nathalie Benker
    • 2
  • Stephan Weinbruch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Asbjørn Skogstad
    • 1
  • Yngvar Thomassen
    • 1
  • Dag G. Ellingsen
    • 1
  • Balázs Berlinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biological Work EnvironmentNational Institute of Occupational HealthOsloNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Applied GeosciencesTechnical University DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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