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Benefits of Using EDX for Elemental Analysis

EDX is a widely used technique for elemental analysis, and many benefits can be gained from it. One of these is that it enables you to analyze all elements simultaneously in a homogeneous sample. This helps you identify pollutants and heavy metals and allows you to perform high-resolution imaging of your samples.

High-resolution imaging capabilities of a modern SEM

A scanning electron microscope (SEM) by is an imaging instrument used to characterize materials, especially in materials science and nanotechnology. Among other uses, it is employed to investigate high-temperature superconductors, mesoporous architectures, and nanofibres. In addition to providing detailed images, it can also be used to identify contaminates and failure causes. It can also be used to study pigments and minerals. Modern SEMs can provide resolution from about 1 nm to about 20 nm. The size of the electron beam influences resolution. Also, the interaction volume of the electron beam with the sample determines its maximum resolution. For many applications, data acquisition is quick and easy. Typical lab-scale SEMs usually feature a 5-axis stage control. This allows tilting and rotating the sample to locate and visualize small features. High-resolution imaging is beneficial when analyzing particles. For instance, it can reveal particle morphology, size, and shape. Other applications include contaminating analysis, failure analysis, and quality control.


Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) is a non-destructive method to detect and identify elements in a sample. It is also a valuable tool for the source apportionment of environmental particulate matter. A combination of SEM imaging and EDS elemental analysis at Microvision Labs provides a rapid method for qualitative and quantitative analysis. EDX relies on the interaction of the source of X-ray excitation with the sample. A silicon drift detector interprets the signal. The spectrum is recorded using a time-of-flight spectrometer. The x-ray spectrum obtained by LD-EDX is not able to retrieve stratigraphic information. This problem is due to the electron contribution to x-ray production. In addition, the yield ratio is unbalanced in favor of copper. However, a proof-of-principle LD-PIXE setup is an excellent starting point for the design of a fully-optimized system. Using the LD-PIXE method, a homogeneous sample can be characterized with a single photon counting spectra reconstruction. This study used an LD-PIXE setup to perform an elemental analysis of a coarse-mode particle sample. Two concentration levels were compared for each M sample. The results showed a mean value of 0.37 and a maximum of 0.17.

Detecting heavy metals pollutions

Heavy metals are a significant environmental concern linked to various health problems like cancer. Fortunately, there are techniques for detecting heavy metals and their pollution. Several analytical methods are available, including X-ray spectroscopy, absorption, chemical fractionation, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Seeing heavy metals in water has been made easy with the advent of portable XRF devices. These units are compact and can be carried to any location for screening. The most common metals detected include lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. Using the right analytical tool to detect heavy metals is essential because some toxic metals can enter the human diet and cause serious harm to the body. In the case of arsenic, it is known to cause skin cancer and lung cancer. A study has shown that drinking a glass of water containing trace amounts of arsenic is associated with adverse health effects. X-ray spectroscopy is not a good candidate for trace metal imaging because of its limited sensitivity and lack of quantitative information. However, X-ray diffraction is a better choice for identifying metal species.


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