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Charge-Related Problems Associated with X-Ray Microanalysis in the Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope at Low Pressures

  • Brendan J. Griffin (a1) and Alexandra A. Suvorova (a1)

Abstract

In variable pressure scanning electron microscopy (VPSEM) the current data suggests that considerable caution is required in the interpretation of X-ray data from nonconductive samples, depending on the operating conditions. This article reviews some of the documented approaches and presents data that illustrate the nature and magnitude of the effects of charge above, on, and in the sample on the detected X-ray emissions from the sample and from elsewhere within the VPSEM specimen chamber. The collection of reliable and reproducible X-ray data has been found to require relatively high specimen chamber gas pressures, at the upper end of or beyond the available pressures for most VPSEMs. It is also shown that sample characteristics, including composition, strongly influence local charge effects, which can significantly affect the primary electron landing energy and consequently the resultant emitted X-ray signal under low pressure environments.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author. E-mail: bjg@cmm.uwa.edu.au

Keywords

Charge-Related Problems Associated with X-Ray Microanalysis in the Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope at Low Pressures

  • Brendan J. Griffin (a1) and Alexandra A. Suvorova (a1)

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