X-ray Spectrometry

  • David B. Williams
  • C. Barry Carter


To make use of the X-rays generated when the beam strikes the specimen, we have to detect them and identify from which element they originated. This is accomplished by X-ray spectrometry, which is one way to transform the TEM into a far more powerful instrument, called an analytical electron microscope (AEM). Currently, the only commercial spectrometer that we use on theTEM is an X-ray energy-dispersive spectrometer (XEDS), which uses a Si semiconductor detector or sometimes a Ge detector. New detector technologies are emerging, which we’ll describe briefly. While some of these may render the Si detector obsolete, we’ll nevertheless emphasize this particular detector.


Count Rate Analytical Electron Microscope Dead Time Dead Layer Charge Pulse 
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.


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General Texts

  1. Garratt-Reed, AJ and Bell, DC 2002 Energy-dispersive X-ray Analysis in the Electron Microscope Bios (Royal Microsc. Soc.) Oxford UK. Similar in scope to the XEDS chapters in this textbook.Google Scholar
  2. Goldstein, JI, Newbury, DE, Echlin, P, Joy, DC, Romig, AD Jr, Lyman, C., Fiori, CE and Lifshin, E 2003 Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Microanalysis 3rd Ed. Springer New York. In-depth treatment of all aspects of XEDS in the SEM/EPMA. Includes details of the electronics (Section 3.2.7)Google Scholar
  3. Goodhew, PJ, Humphreys, FJ, and Beanland, R 2001 Electron Microscopy and Analysis 3rd Ed. Taylor and Francis New York. A broad introduction covering SEM, TEM, and AEM.Google Scholar
  4. Jones, IP 1992 Chemical Microanalysis Using Electron Beams Institute of Materials London. Quantitative AEM; lots of calculations to illustrate the analytical principles; essential for the serious X-ray analyst.Google Scholar
  5. Williams, DB, Goldstein, JI and Newbury, DE, Eds. 1995 X-Ray Spectrometry in Electron Beam Instruments Plenum Press New York. Tells all you need to know and more about X-ray detection and processing in SEM/EPMA (mainly) and TEM.Google Scholar

References For The Chapter

  1. Doyle, BL, Walsh, DS, Kotula, PG, Rossi, P, Schülein, T and Rohde, M 2004 An Annular Si Drift Detector µPIXE System Using AXSIA Analysis X-Ray Spectrom. 34 279–284. Illustrating the use of an array of SDDs.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Egerton RF and Cheng SC 1994 The Use of NiO Test Specimens in Analytical Electron Microscopy Ultramicrosc. 55 43–54. As it says!.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lund, MW 1995 Current Trends in Si(Li) Detector Windows for Light Element Analysis in X-Ray Spectrometry in Electron Beam Instruments DB Williams, JI Goldstein and DE Newbury, Eds. 21–31 Plenum Press New York. Detailed review of windows.Google Scholar
  4. Lyman, CE, Newbury, DE, Goldstein, JI, Williams, DB, Romig, AD Jr, Armstrong, JT, Echlin, PE, Fiori, CE, Joy, D., Lifshin, E and Peters, KR 1990 Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-Ray Microanalysis and Analytical Electron Microscopy; A Laboratory Workbook Plenum Press New York. Includes some standard tests for XEDS.Google Scholar
  5. Michael, JR, 1995 Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry in Ultra-High Vacuum Environments in X-Ray Spectrometry in Electron Beam Instruments Eds. DB Williams, JI Goldstein and DE Newbury p83 Plenum Press New York. Using the Ni Kα/Ni Lα ratio.Google Scholar
  6. Mott, RB and Friel, JJ, 1995 Improving EDS Performance with Digital Pulse Processing in X-Ray Spectrometry in Electron Beam Instruments Eds. DB Williams, JI Goldstein and DE Newbury 127–155 Plenum Press New York. Digital processing as we discuss in Section 32.7.Google Scholar
  7. Newbury, DE 2006 The New X-ray Mapping: X-ray Spectrum Imaging Above 100 kHz Output Count Rate with the Silicon Drift Detector Microscopy and Microanalysis 12 26–35. Using SDDs for mapping.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  9. Statham, PJ 1995 Quantifying Benefits of Resolution and Count Rate in EDX Microanalysis in X-Ray Spectrometry in Electron Beam Instruments Eds. DB Williams, JI Goldstein and DE Newbury 101–126 Plenum Press New York. Balancing count rate and resolution.Google Scholar
  10. Terauchi, M and Kawana, M 2006 Soft-X-ray Emission Spectroscopy Based on TEM—Toward a Total Electronic Structure Analysis Ultramicrosc. 106 1069–1075. CCD-based WDS.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Terauchi, M, Yamamoto, H and Tanaka, M 2001 X-ray Emission Spectroscopy, Transmission Electron Microscope, DOS of the Valence Band, Soft-X-ray Spectrometer, B K-emission Spectra, Hexagonal Boron-Nitride J. Electr. Microsc. 50(2) 101–104. Development of a sub-eV resolution soft-X-ray spectrometer for a transmission electron microscope.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Watanabe, M and Williams, DB 2006 Frontiers of X-ray Analysis in Analytical Electron Microscopy: Toward Atomic-Scale Resolution and Single-Atom Sensitivity Microscopy and Microanalysis 12 515–526. C s-corrected AEM.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  14. Zemyan, SM and Williams, DB 1995 Characterizing an Energy-Dispersive Spectrometer on an Analytical Electron Microscope in X-Ray Spectrometry in Electron Beam Instruments Eds. DB Williams, JI Goldstein and DE Newbury 203–219 Plenum Press New York. Summary of standard tests for XEDS.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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