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Electron Microscopy Sciences

EMS Microscopy Academy Applications

Workshop Information

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arrow13X-Ray Microanalysis Workshop: A Complete Picture

This course covers qualitative and semi quantitative analysis, beginning with the generation of background and characteristic of x-rays, nomenclature, and peak family ratios.

Examples of the endless possibilities in the field of Microscopy


Targeted Participants

Individuals who are, or soon will be, expected to operate an SEM, choose appropriate parameters for EDS, and perform qualitative and semi quantitative analysis on materials samples.

Scope of Class

The nondestructive elemental identification of a sample’s micro-composition is a powerful tool for the microscopist. This technique can detect elements from boron to uranium with a minimum concentration delectability of 1000 ppm in solid samples.

Collection parameter settings of both the EDS system and microscope, their effect on the spectrum and quality of the subsequent quantification are of primary importance. The non-variable parameters of working distance and tilt will be demonstrated as well as the effect of accelerating voltage on background shape, x-ray spatial resolution, over-voltage requirements, and accuracy of ZAF matrix corrections examined. With the advent of the silicon drift detector (SDD) the pulse processor time constant and beam current (spot size) settings to control % dead time are almost a moot point but will be introduced for those who work with a SiLi detector.

Identification of individual elemental lines as well as methods used for determining peak overlaps such as peak shape, peak family ratio anomalies, and the presence of a peak unassociated with known elements will be paid particular attention.

Quantitative analysis will be limited to the use of ZAF and PhiRhoZ routines but the collection of standards and their use in a full quant will be discussed. Backscattered (BSE) imaging will be correlated with x-ray maps and spectral imaging results. Energy calibrations will also be preformed.


The EMS Microscopy Academy
Located in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, the Academy provides electron microscopy classes, workshops and training sessions for all fields of microscopy, including materials science and biological science.


Lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice, as well as round table discussion. Participants are encouraged to bring their own samples, if possible.

Main Curriculum

  • Generation and nomenclature of x-ray lines
  • Spectral artifacts
  • Deconvolution of peak overlaps
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Semi quantitative analysis
  • Hardware settings/function
  • Setup and operation of SEM for BSE imaging and spectral acquisitions
  • Sample requirements for BSE / EDS

Instruments Available

Hitachi S3500 SEM COXEM SEM EM-30N
Bruker Esprit (SDD) MAC Element Standards


Michael Kostrna
Michael was the program director of the Electron Microscopy Technician program at Madison Area Technical College and has more than 35 years in EM technical education and research experience. He has been training EM students for 30 years and has developed curricula and lab exercises for TEM, SEM, OLM, lab safety, introductory and advanced biological EM, EM, maintenance, and x-Ray microanalysis. He has worked with companies such as SC Johnson Polymer, Dow Chemicals, Io Genetics, Virent Technologies, ABS Global, NanoOnocology, and Microscopy Innovations, and in the process gained insight to the various applications of EM.

Al Coritz
Al has been working in the Electron Microscopy field for 39 years, beginning at the Yale School of Medicine and ending up on the commercial side with several key EM companies. His specialty is Cryo-techniques and Thin Film Technology: i.e. Freeze Fracture/Rotary Shadowing, High Pressure Freezing, and more. He is currently with Electron Microscopy Sciences where he has been the Technical Director for over 20 years.

View our schedule to see if this course is currently offered.

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