During inspection of a sample with an electron beam, either in a scanning electron microscope or an electron microprobe, x-rays characteristic of the elements making up the sample are generated. These x-rays can be detected with either an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) or a wavelength dispersive spectrometer (WDS). Analyses can be made on a point by point basis or can be acquired in mapping fashion. Elemental analyses are quantified by comparing against standard reference materials.
EDS systems are typically found on Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM).
WDS systems are typically found on Electron Microprobes (EMA).
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