EDS Analysis of Nickel (Ni)
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Figure 1825 shows EDS profile of a Zr-Ni thin film.

EDS profile of a Zr-Ni thin film

Figure 1825. EDS profile of a Zr-Ni thin film. [1]

Note that, in practice, Ni X-rays are also generated from SEM/TEM specimen chamber, column and apertures by Rutherford backscattered electrons because these parts of the SEM/TEM systems contain such element. These spurious X-rays can often be detected by the EDS detector. EDS-TEM specimen holders and stray aperture are normally used to reduce such spurious X-rays.

As discussed on page4650, X-ray absorption is a function of the energy of X-rays. Low energy peaks will be more strongly absorbed than high energies ones. For thick TEM samples, k-factor correction due to X-ray absorption is needed in order to accurately quantify EDS measurements. Table 1825 lists Ni-examples of thicknesses at which the thin-film approximation is no longer valid due to X-ray absorption effects in specific materials.

Table 1825. Examples of limits to the thin-film approximation caused by X-ray absorption: Maximum thicknesses of thin specimens for which the absorption correction (or error) is less than ±10% and ±3%.


10% error in kAB
3% error in kAB
Absorbed X-ray lines
Primary X-ray lines
Thickness (nm)
32 9 Al Kα Al Kα (1.486 keV) and Ni Kα (7.471 keV)
  89 Ni Kα Fe Kα (6.391 keV) and Ni Kα (7.461 keV)






[1] Masahiro Kitada and Fumiyoshi Kirino, Effects of Sputter Order and Oxide Layer on Amorphous Formation of Zr-Ni Thin Film System, Materials Transactions, Vol. 46, No. 2 (2005) pp. 277 to 280.