Iron (Fe)
- Practical Electron Microscopy and Database -
- An Online Book -  

This book (Practical Electron Microscopy and Database) is a reference for TEM and SEM students, operators, engineers, technicians, managers, and researchers.


Fe is by far the most common 3d transition metal in minerals

Table 3395a. Properties of Fe metal.

Density (g-cm-3)

Specific heat (cp, Jkg-1K-1)


Heat conductivity (kh,Wcm-1K-1)


Melting temperature (Tm, °C)


Vaporization temperature (Tv, °C)


Melt heat (Qm, J-g-1)


Vaporization heat (Qv, J-g-1)

Absorption (1-R)
0.35 for 1 µm light
Kα X-ray for XRD measurements
Wavelength (λ) = 0.194 nm

As listed in Table 3395b, substances with large bonding energies usually have high melting temperatures.

Table 3395b. Bonding energies and melting temperatures of metallic substances.

Bonding type

Bonding energy
Melting point (°C)
kJ/mol kcal/mol eV/Atom, Ion, or Molecule
Typical value 50-1000      
Hg 68 16 0.7 -39
Al 324 77 3.4 660
Fe 406 97 4.2 1538
W 849 203 8.8 3410

Figure 3395 shows the solid solubility of some impurities (including Fe) in silicon.

Solid solubility of impurities in silicon

Figure 3395. Solid solubility of impurities in silicon.

For TEMs with thermionic electron sources, the MDM (minimum detectable mass) of EDS measurements is in the range of 10-19 to 10-20 g, equivalent to ~100 - ~1000 atoms thick of iron (Fe). For TEMs with FEGs (field emission guns), it is possible to detect a few atoms thick with EDS technique.




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