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Analysis of Biologically-Derived Small Particles—Searching for Geometry Correction Factors Using Monte Carlo Simulation

  • Grzegorz Tylko (a1)


A Monte Carlo simulation was used to determine geometry correction factors that increase accuracy of quantitative X-ray microanalysis of laterally semithick biological materials. A model composed of cellulose with homogeneously distributed biological elements and lateral dimensions between 0.5–25 μm was chosen. The specimen was exposed to 5, 10, and 15 keV electrons, the net intensities of characteristic X-rays registered for the elements, and presented as a function of the lateral dimensions of the model. This showed the double decay exponential function fitted the distribution of X-ray intensities in relation to the model size. The applicability of the function as a correction method was successfully tested for 30 specimens with varying composition and dimensions. The value of relative error decreased from ±60% to ±5% when the correction was applied. Moreover, the minimal lateral size of the material was defined, below which the correction is not required. The simulation also revealed that the difference of the weighted sum of Z 2/A between the unknown and the standard could reach 25% without significant influence on the quantitative results. The correction method could be helpful for accurate assessment of elemental composition in biological or organic matrices, when their lateral dimensions are smaller than the distribution range.


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