Launch of Energy-Dispersive Spectroscopy for elemental analysis

Jan. 29, 2021

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INCAx-sight-x-ray detector (EDS) in the Topcon D5-130F Scanning Electronic Microscope (SEM) at the IEMC

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We are pleased to announce the launch of Energy-Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) for elemental analysis, an exciting new service of the Robert P. Apkarian Integrated Electron Microscopy Core (IEMC). This technique uses an Oxford Instruments, INCAx-sight x-ray detector, installed on our Field Emission SEM/STEM instrument, the Topcon DS-130F.

Combining the existing scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an EDS system makes it possible to identify specific elements and their relative proportion in areas within a sample. EDS takes advantage of the principle that the unique atomic structure of each element generates a distinctive peak profile on an X-ray spectrum. X-rays are generated when an area of the sample in the SEM interacts with high-energy electrons. Our EDS system can collect characteristic x-rays with specific energies and provide a semi-quantitative measurement of sample composition. Our Topcon DS-130F is also equipped for in-lens and below-lens conventional SEM, and in-lens cryo high-resolution SEM.

Our new service has a range of applications in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, biological sciences, chemical engineering, materials science, geology, and forensic areas, including:

  • Nanoparticles, alloys, films, materials evaluation, and identification
  • Foreign object/contaminant identification
  • Corrosion product analysis
  • Quality control
  • Failure analysis

“The new service by the Integrated Electron Microscopy Core—energy-dispersive spectroscopy for elemental analysis—will facilitate a number of ongoing studies, provide new funding opportunities, and futher cement research partnerships across units,” said Ronald L. Calabrese, Senior Associate Dean for Research, Emory College of Arts and Sciences.

The IEMC is located at two sites on the Emory main campus: The Biochemistry connector and Cherry Logan Emerson Hall. The core supports Emory researchers by providing expertise and cutting-edge services in conventional and cryo transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, cryo-electron tomography, single particle data acquisition and processing, standard tissue preparation and sectioning, high-pressure freezing, cryo-sectioning, cryo-substitution, and other services.

A primary mission of the Emory Integrated Core Facilities is to develop novel services used by investigators at Emory University. “The development of this new service by the members of the Robert P. Apkarian Integrated Electron Microscopy Core (IEMC) demonstrates how core facilities can be force multipliers for our research enterprise and support the OneEmory strategic vision,” said Michael E. Zwick, Associate Vice President for Research in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and Associate Dean for Research in the School of Medicine.

For more information about services offered by the Emory Integrated Genomics Core, visit the core website at www.cores.emory.edu/iemc/ or email the team at EMCore@Emory.edu.