Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX or EDS) Analysis is widely used by today’s material scientists, right from searching for food contaminants to determining malfunctions in machineto finding how an aircraft part will corrode in future. When used together with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) in the EDX Analysis Lab, it can generate enough information about a sample which isn’t possible with an SEM alone.
With EDX, researchers can instantly generate information about a sample’s chemical composition, including the types of elements present along with their distribution and concentration.
What is Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX)?
Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX), also called as EDAX or EDS, is an X-ray process performed in EDX Analysis Labthat enables identification of composition of elements in materials. This technique is applicable to product and materials research, deformulation, troubleshooting, and so on.
EDX system is attached to Electron Microscopy instruments (Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) or Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)) where the ability of imaging of the microscope determines the specimen of interest. The data from EDX analysis comprises of spectra that displays peaks related to the elements delivering the analysis of sample’s exact composition.
EDX is a powerful multi-technique, specifically for analysis of contamination and investigation of industrial forensic science. The technique may include semi-quantitative, quantitative or qualitative analysis and provides spatial distribution of elements with the help of mapping. Being a non-destructive technique, the analysis of material can be done in situ without or little sample preparation.
When Microscopy and EDX combined data isn’t enough to determine a specimen, complimentary techniques such as RAMAN Microscopy,Infra-red (FTIR) Microscopy,Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR)and Surface Analysis (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) or Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS)).
Working of EDX Analysis
SEM offers different information about a given sample with various types of signals. For example, backscattered electrons generate contrast images carrying information about the alterations in atomic number. Secondary electrons generate the sample’stopographic information. However, when SEM is connected with an EDX detector, X-rays can also be used as a signal to produce chemical information.
To learn about the generation of these X-rays, you should consider that every atom has a different number of electrons that stay in specific energy levels. Normally, these positions are related to certain shells having different and discrete energies.
X-rays Generation by Electron Beam Interaction
The working of EDX analysis in EDX Analysis Lab involves hitting of the electron beam to the inner shell of an atom, collidingoff an electron from the shell and leaving a positively charged electron hole. When the electron displacement occurs, it attracts another electron from an outer shell and fills the vacancy. While moving of the electron from the outer higher-energy to the inner lower-energy shell of the atom, the energy difference can be sent out in the form of an X-ray. The X-ray’s energy is exceptional to the specific element and transition.