By John C. Russ

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Extra resources for Fundamentals of Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis

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1 Mean ionization potential J as a function of atomic number, comparing various mathematical models. The stopping power S i s a function of energy, as well as t a r g e t element. 2, the r a t e of energy loss is low at f i r s t , and then increases as the electron slows down (this i s the same behavior as paying off the p r i n c i p a l on a mortgage). 43 100 80 E a. 2 Rate of electron energy loss according to the Bethe law, as a function of electron energy and matrix element. Since the electron energy decreases during the entire process of stopping, the range is given by an integral, actually: R =0|E° (dE/pS) where p is the density of the material (a constant which is convenient to pull out of many expressions).

7 i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s for the case of a sample of copper and aluminum. , so any e l e c t r o n which d r o p s below t h a t energy can no l o n g e r ionize the copper K s h e l l . 56 keV. Electrons w i l l , on t h e a v e r a g e , be a b l e t o p e n e t r a t e deeper i n t o t h e specimen before t h e i r energy f a l l s below the Al c r i t i c a l energy than below the Cu energy, so t h e a n a l y s i s of aluminum c o v e r s a l a r g e r and deeper region. This can be important in dealing with m a t e r i a l s which may be inhomogeneous in depth, in which one element or another may be excited only near the surface, or vice versa.

But if the element is not anticipated, it may be missed altogether. 14 shows a typical stainless steel spectrum. The major elements are Cr, Fe and Ni. The K-/3 peak from the chromium is much larger than, and competely hides, the small peak from the 1% or so manganese likely to be present. The even smaller Mn K-ß is competely covered by the Fe K-a . Unless the analyst expects to find manganese, it will be missed. Even in a quantitative analysis, the presence of the manganese might be overlooked without its abscence being obvious in the final results.

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