Electron Microscopy Excels at Elemental Analysis

Discover how SEM and TEM microscopes are analytical tools that use Energy Dispersive X-ray detectors (EDS or EDX) and SXES for elemental analysis down to Lithium.

Electron microscopes make it possible to see extraordinary details at ultrahigh magnifications, but they also make it possible to determine more details about the material you are investigating. Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM) are essentially nanolabs when outfitted with multiple analytical detectors. For example, energy dispersive X-ray detectors (EDS or EDX) are used extensively to provide insight for analysis of elements ranging from Be to U. More specialized detectors enable detection of light elements like Li, or, in the case of TEM, fast elemental mapping up to atomic resolution.

Analytical SEM for EDS and SXES

EDS in general is considered a semi-quantitative elemental analysis technique. SEM-EDS provides information on the elements present, their relative concentrations and spatial distribution over very small volumes (micron and some instances nanometer scale).
With the analytical SEM you can view an EDS spectrum in real-time while also searching for the area of interest on the sample. JEOL EDS software makes it possible to perform Live Analysis, high resolution spectral mapping and quantitative mapping, drift compensation, line scan, and to produce large area montage maps. The fully-integrated EDS detector is capable of detecting elements from Be to U.
Gather-X, a new Windowless EDS from JEOL, provides even higher sensitivity and low-energy X-Ray detection, and can collect the entire X-ray range produced from the ultrahigh resolution Field Emission SEM, including low-energy X-rays down to Lithium. Collection provides clear, high count rate EDS maps with high spatial resolution.
For efficient and parallel collection of very low energy-rays a Soft X-ray Emission Spectrometer (SXES) provides the ultimate high spectral resolution (0.3eV). Ideal for Lithium Ion Battery research, it allows for the Nitrogen Kα and Titanium Lℓ line to be resolved with a separation of only 1.78eV, and also ultra-low energy, low-concentration sensitivity with the capability to detect Li even at low single digit weight percent concentration. An additional, and maybe its strongest asset, is its ability to do chemical state analysis. The spectrometer can detect subtle differences in emitted X-rays from conduction band and valence band which allows the distinction between bonding and crystal structure in samples containing the same elements.

TEM Analytical Capability at the Atomic Level

For Transmission Electron Microscopy, JEOL SDD detectors ranging from 60mm 2 to 158mm 2 deliver unparalleled EDX analytical results for a wide range of materials. Utilizing JEOL’s unique, on-the-fly “Lossless Drift Compensation”, large pixel EDX maps can be generated at up to atomic resolution, even for beam sensitive or 2D materials, at various accelerating voltages. In addition, JEOL’s spectrum imaging saves not only the entire spectrum data set but also each individual spectral slice, allowing for the specific summing of any number of frames collected during an experiment, which is useful for in-situ experiments.




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