Scanning electron microscopes are usually equipped with a variety of analytical accessories. The latest development in this respect is Integrated X-ray Fluorescence (IXRF) analysis using focused X-rays inside the SEM. IXRF utilizes the existing EDS hard- and software, required is just the X-Beam X-ray source with polycapillary optics and a software add-on. The main advantage is the low detection limit. Compared to excitation with an electron beam, excitation with an X-ray source significantly reduces the spectral background and allows trace analysis even in the ppm range. Samples do not have to be coated and penetration depths exceed that of the electron beam by 10 fold. This opens up analysis avenues for coating measurements and thin film analysis.
IXRF - a powerful completion for the analytical SEM.
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