Analysis of Electron Transparent Beam-Sensitive Samples Using Scanning Electron Microscopy Coupled with Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy

Anders Brostrøm, Kirsten Inga Kling, Karin Sørig Hougaard, Kristian Mølhave*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Scanning electron microscopy, coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), is a powerful tool used in many scientific fields. It can provide nanoscale images, allowing size and morphology measurements, as well as provide information on the spatial distribution of elements in a sample. This study compares the capabilities of a traditional EDS detector with a recently developed annular EDS detector when analyzing electron transparent and beam-sensitive NaCl particles on a TEM grid. The optimal settings for single particle analysis are identified in order to minimize beam damage and optimize sample throughput via the choice of acceleration voltage, EDS acquisition time, and quantification model. Here, a linear combination of two models is used to bridge results for particle sizes, which are neither bulk nor sufficiently thin to assume electron transparent. Additionally, we show that the increased count rate obtainable with the annular detector enables mapping as a viable analysis strategy compared with feature detection methods, which only scan segmented regions. Finally, we discuss advantages and disadvantages of the two analysis strategies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Volume26
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)373-386
ISSN1431-9276
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Aerosol
  • Electron microscopy
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy
  • Particle

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