Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week for 2 weeks, 4 hours / session


The electron microprobe provides a complete micrometer-scale quantitative chemical analysis of inorganic solids. The method is nondestructive and utilizes characteristic X-rays excited by an electron beam incident on a flat surface of the sample. This course provides an introduction to the theory of X-ray microanalysis through wavelength and energy dispersive spectrometry (WDS and EDS), ZAF matrix correction procedures and scanning electron imaging with back-scattered electron (BSE), secondary electron (SE), X-ray using WDS or EDS (elemental mapping), and cathodoluminescence (CL). Lab sessions involve hands-on use of the JEOL JXA-8200 Superprobe.


Permission of instructor.


Theory of X-ray Spectrometry

  • Electron-specimen interactions
    • Elastic scattering: Electron backscattering
    • Inelastic scattering: Secondary electron excitation, Cathodoluminescence, Continuum X-ray generation, Characteristic X-ray generation
    • Interaction volume
  • Matrix corrections
    • Atomic number, Absorption and Characteristic fluorescence corrections
    • Continuum fluorescence correction
    • φ(ρz) corrections


  • Detectors in the electron microprobe
    • Electron detectors: Everhart-Thornley and Solid-state diode detectors
    • Cathodoluminescence detector
    • X-ray detectors: Energy dispersive and Wavelength dispersive spectrometers
    • Analyzing crystals and proportional counters in WDS

Imaging Techniques

  • Compositional and topographic imaging
  • Elemental X-ray mapping
  • Cathodoluminescence imaging

Quantitative Analysis

  • Sample preparation
  • Wavelength dispersive spectrometry
  • Background and peak overlap corrections

Recommended Textbook

Buy at Amazon Goldstein, J. I., D. E. Newbury, et al. Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Microanalysis. 3rd ed. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2003. ISBN: 9780306472923.


The basis for the grade is completion of all the lab exercises (problem sets) and the quiz.