*NEW* Quantitative elemental analysis in ESEM

Electron microscopy is generally carried out under vacuum, which often modifies objects and leads to misinterpretation of the samples. 

The usage of environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) becomes more attractive for water containing samples since the sample modification due to low vacuum could be prevented. However, this technique may provide ‘incorrect’ information, particularly in elemental analysis because the primary electrons are scattered by water molecules in the microscope chamber. For providing a proper elemental analysis, this project involves using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in high-vacuum and low-vacuum (i.e. ESEM) modes and using low-energy EDS to explore the elemental analysis with high spatial resolution.

Learning Objectives:

  • Use a scanning electron microscope
  • Quantitative EDS analysis
  • Investigation of advantages and limitations in ESEM-EDS

Open to: Bachelor and Special Project students

Backscattered electron (BSE) image of a natural rock and the corresponding EDS elemental maps obtained in high-vacuum mode. The spatial resolution of the EDS mapping would be a few µm.