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.
Mineralogical studies of materials:
Mineral composition of materials can be accurately determined by semi-quantitative elemental EDS analysis of polished sections.
Geochemical studies of environmental media:
SEM/EDS supplements geochemical analyses with data on morphology, mineralogy and sources of heavy metal-bearing phases in environmental media.