Low-Z Element Analysis in Hard Materials

  • D. T. Quinto
  • G. J. Wolfe
  • M. N. Haller


The study of fundamental mechanical and chemical properties of sintered cemented carbides and ceramics has become increasingly dependent on analytical techniques that probe into the microstructure and microchemistry of these cermets. Examples of the uses of the SEM, STEM, neutron diffraction, atom probe etc. are given in other papers in this conference which contribute to our understanding of the structure/property relationships. In contrast to pure metals and alloys (which have been the traditional research domain of metallurgists and materials scientists) two characteristics of cermets impose special requirements on micro-analysis: relatively fine grain sizes (e.g., several microns in carbides to sub-micron grains in ceramics and CVD refractory coatings; thin, intergranular binder films) which necessitate submicron resolution; and the common presence of low-Z elements such as carbon, nitrogen, boron, oxygen that comprise a major volume fraction of the microstructure. An adequate micro-analytical method should therefore be capable of clearly distinguishing these microstructural features as well as providing the corresponding microchemistry of the constituents. While the state of the art in electron microscope imaging by topographic or phase contrast is more than adequate in delineating microstructural features of cemented carbides, it is not yet quite as satisfactory in terms of microchemical analysis. The purpose of this paper is to take an overview of the existing technology in micro-analysis and, by comparison of particular capabilities and limitations on light element sensitivity and microchemical resolution, gain a useful perspective in the choice of analytical instrumentation most suited for studies of carbide, binder or CVD coating features in tool materials.


Energy Dispersive Spectrometry Hard Material Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy Auger Analysis Scan Auger Microprobe 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    S.J.B. Reed, “Proceedings IV International Congress on X-Ray Optics and Microanalysis, Orsay, 1965,” R. Castaing, P. Deschamps and J. Philibert, eds., Hermann, Paris, p. 339 (1966).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. Hoffmann, Surface and Interface Analysis, 2:149 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. W. Colby, “Proceedings of the Sixth National Conference on Electron Probe Analysis,” p. 17 (1971).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    L. E. Thomas, “Proceedings 38th Annual EMSA, San Francisco,” G. W. Bailey, ed., Claitor’s Publishing Division, p. 90. (1980).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    G. Cliff and G. W. Lorimer, J. Microscopy, 103:203 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Philibert and R. Tixier, J. Phys. O 1:685 (1968).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    D. C. Joy, “Introduction to Analytical Electron Microscopy,” J. Hren, J. Goldstein, and D. Joy, eds., Plenum Press, p. 223 (1979).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    N. J. Zaluzec, Thin Solid Films 72:177 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    D. Maher, “Introduction to Analytical Electron Microscopy,” ibid. p. 275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    C. J. Powell, Surf. Sci. 44:29 (1974).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    J. F. Moulder, D. G. Jean, and W. C. Johnson, Thin Solid Films, 64:427 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    L. L. Tongson et al., J. Vac. Sci. Tech. 15:1133 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    N. K. Sharma and W. S. Williams, J. Am. Cer. Soc. 62:193 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    R. S. Berg and G. J. Kominiak, J. Vac. Sci. Tech. 13:403 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    D. Bhattacharya and D. T. Quinto, Met. Trans. 11A:919 (1980).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    C. Lea and M. P. Seah, Thin Solid Films 75:67 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    H. Jonsson, “Planseeberichte Fur Pulvermetallurgie,” p. 187 (1973).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    R. K. Viswanadham et al., J. Mat. Sci. 16:1029 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    N. K. Sharma, W. Williams, I. D. Ward, and H. L. Fraser, J. Am. Cer. Soc. 63:194 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. T. Quinto
    • 1
  • G. J. Wolfe
    • 1
  • M. N. Haller
    • 1
  1. 1.Philip M. McKenna LaboratoryKennametal Inc.GreensburgUSA

Personalised recommendations