1st Paragraph: Glass is a challenging substance to analyze by energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in the scanning electron microscope (SEM). It is a nonconductor which must be coated, usually with a thin film of carbon, to render the surface conductive for observation in the SEM. Even then, observation with excessively high voltage or beam current may deposit charge below the surface of the sample distorting the analysis. In addition, some elements in glass may become mobile or volatilize during measurement making analysis difficult as the sample is changing during exposure to the beam. Increasing the beam current, a technique used to increase the signal intensity and shorten analysis time, is the very thing which will exacerbate this problem.
Author: John Konopka
Keywords: X-Ray Microanalysis, Silicon Drift Detector, Glass