Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX)

EDX is a technique for chemical analysis (elemental analysis) of samples. In this technique, an energetic electron beam is focused on the sample. The incoming electron beam can excite electrons from the inner shells of the sample atoms. When this happens, the void in the inner shell of the atom is filled with an electron from an outer shell. At this transfer, X-ray photons are simultaneously emitted. The energy content of these X-ray photons is specific depending on which element they are emitted from and by analyzing the photons, the chemical composition in the sample is obtained.

Applications are:

  • identification of particles, inclusions and phases
  • characterization of corrosion products to identify corrosion mechanisms
  • analysis of abrasion damages, such as abrasion oxides
  • determination of chemical composition of micron-sized structural constituents
  • Instrument: PentaFETx3
  • Manufacturer: Oxford Instruments
  • Measures: The energy of emitted X-ray photons
  • Result: Chemical composition

Result (Example)

EDX-spectrum for stainless steel (EN 1.4404).