Scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) coupled with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS)

Utilizing scanning electron microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy, Arkema Analytical Solutions can supply an array of applications for samples.

The field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) images a sample surface by raster scanning over it with a high-energy beam of electrons. The electrons interact with the atoms comprising the sample to produce signals that contain information about surface topography, composition and other properties, such as electrical conductivity.  Features can be characterized at length scales from millimeters to around 10 nanometers.


X-rays, which are also produced by the interaction of electrons with the sample, may be analyzed by an energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) detector. This X-ray analyzer allows chemical analysis of regions of interest with a spatial resolution from around 300 nanometers to 4 micrometers depending on the sample and instrument settings. The EDS attachment allows analysis for all elements heavier than boron.

 Applications of field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) include:

  • Thickness measurement of thin coatings and films
  • Correlation of surface appearance and surface morphology
  • Characterization of size, size distribution, shape and dispersion of additives, particulates and fibers in composites and blends
  • Measurement of height and lateral dimensions of nanometer-sized objects
  • Characterization of cell size and size distribution in foam materials
  • Elemental analysis of micron-sized features
  • Fracture and failure analysis
  • Defect analysis