Special Topics in Electron Beam X-Ray Microanalysis
The only reason that the x-ray intensities measured on the unknown differ from those measured on the standards is that the compositions of specimen and standard are different. Specifically, no other factors such as surface roughness, size, shape, and thickness, which can be generally grouped together as “geometric” factors, act to affect the intensities measured on the unknown.
The specimen is homogeneous over the full extent of the interaction volume excited by the primary electron beam and sampled by the primary and secondary x-rays. Because x-rays of different excitation energies are generated with different distributions within the interaction volume, it is critical that the specimen has a uniform composition over the full region. If a thin surface layer of different composition than the underlying bulk material is present, this discontinuity is not properly considered in the conventional matrix correction analysis procedure.
The specimen is stable under the electron beam. That is, the interaction volume is not modified through loss of one or more atomic or molecular species by the electron beam over the time period necessary to collect the x-ray spectrum (EDS) or peak intensities (WDS). Biological and polymer specimens are likely to alter composition under electron bombardment.
KeywordsSpecial Topic Beam Energy Light Element Matrix Correction Severe Interference
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