TEM Specimen Grids for EDS Analysis
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To avoid spurious x-rays in EDS analysis, materials with low atomic numbers are used for TEM specimen support grids. For instance, if small particles are analyzed, Be or polymeric grids with carbon films can be used instead of metal grids since Cu grids produce Cu peaks in the X-ray spectra. Those materials with low atomic numbers do not produce significant spurious X-ray signals.

On the other hand, the specimen grid can be made of a material that is not involved in the specimen. For instance, copper (Cu) is suitable for most silicate analyses, while nickel (Ni) or gold (Au) is applicable to the analysis of sulfides.

However, when spurious signals are present, the composition of the feature of interest can be identified by comparing the intensities of the peaks in the spectra from the interest and a site adjacent to the interest.

Table 2520. Common TEM Specimen Grids.

Grids Remarks
Cu grids Most common because they are cheap, e.g. for most silicate analyses
Ni grids Applicable to the analysis of sulfides
Au grids Applicable to the analysis of sulfides
Mo grids  
Be grids with with carbon films Material with low atomic numbers to avoid spurious x-rays
Polymeric grids with carbon films Material with low atomic numbers to avoid spurious x-rays

 

 

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