How to choose material Analysis techniques for better results?

Materials Analysis is a leading laboratory and analytical tool used by academia, government and industry to conduct preliminary analysis, nanotechnology and materials research, and to perform quality assurance, analysis with on-site inspection.

1) Depended on sample

For detailed information, the choice of analysis method and the accuracy of the analysis method should be checked, in Table 1 some cases are categorized.

Sample TypeCharacteristicSensitivityAvailable Techniques
Solid – BulkCompositiondown to 0.1%EMP, EDX, WDX, XRF
Solid – BulkCrystal StructureXRD, Electron Diffraction
Solid -BulkImpuritiesppm, ppbSIMS, GDMS, NAA, SNMS, PIXE, LEM, SSMS
Solid – BulkLocalized Defects/ImpuritiesTEM, SEM, STEM
Solid – SurfaceCompositionfrom major down to 0.1%ESCA, AES
Solid – SurfaceCompositiontraceSurface SIMS, ISS
Solid – SurfaceStructureTEM, LEED
Solid – FilmComposition Vs. Depthfrom major down to 0.1%AES, ESCA, RBS, NDP
Solid – FilmComposition Vs. DepthtraceSIMS, SNMS, NDP
Solid – FilmStructureXRD, TEM
Solid – FilmThickness< 1 micronRBS, TEM
LiquidComposition, InorganictraceAA, ICP-AES
LiquidComposition, Inorganicultra-traceICP-MS
LiquidComposition, Organicfrom major down to traceGC, GC/MS, IR, FTIR
LiquidThermal PropertiesThermal Analyzers
GasCompositionfrom major down to traceGC, GC/MS, IR, gas sensors, MS
table1. Material analysis techniques depend on sample state.

2) More about some techs

Table 2 shows some of the analysis methods in terms of energy, input-output and application.

TechniquePrimary BeamEnergyDetected EntityApplications
Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEEDS)Electron20-200 eVElectronSurface Structure
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)Electron300-30,000 eVElectronSurface Morphology
Electron Microprobe (EMP)Electron1-30 keVX-raySurface Region Composition
Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES)Electron500-10,000 eVElectronSurface Layer Composition
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)Electron100-400 keVElectronHigh Resolution Structure
Scanning TEM (STEM)Electron100-400 keVElectron,X-rayImaging, X-ray Analysis
Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS)Electron100-400 keVElectronSmall local area composition
Ion Scattering Spectrometry (ISS)Ion500-2000 eVIonSurface composition
Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS)Ion1-15 keVIonTrace composition vs. depth
Secondary Neutral Mass Spectrometry (SNMS)Ion1-15 keVAtomTrace composition vs. depth
Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE)Ion>= 1 keVX-rayTrace composition
Scanning Ion Microscope (SIM)Ion5-20 keVElectronSurface characterization
Rutherford Backscatter-ing Spectroscopy (RBS)Ion> 1 MeVIonComposition vs. depth
X-ray Fluorescence (XRF)Photon> 1 keVX-rayComposition
X-ray Diffraction (XRD)Photon> 1 keVX-rayCrystal Structure
X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS or ESCA)Photon> 1 keVElectronSurface Composition
Laser Microprobe (LMP)PhotonLaserIonComposition
Laser Ion Mass Spectroscopy (LIMS)PhotonLaserIonComposition
Laser Emission Microprobe (LEM)PhotonLaserLightTrace Elements
Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA)NeutronReactorGamma rayBulk Composition
table.2 description of material analysis techniques
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