Scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (SEM/EDS)

At the beginning of 2008, the Geological Survey of Slovenia obtained a new analytical instrument for morphological surface analysis and qualitative to semi-quantitative chemical microanalysis of materials. This instrument is a scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS).

Basic SEM/EDS components andprinciples of operation:

A number of signals, such as secondary electrons (SE), backscattered electrons (BSE) and X-rays, result from interactions of a focused scanning electron beam with the atoms of a specimen, thus providing different information about the sample.

  • SE provide topographical image of sample surface
  • BSE depend on atomic number and provide relative compositional image of the sample
  • X-rays provide information about elemental composition of the sample

SEM/EDS at the Geological Survey of Slovenia is applied to different fields of geology.

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