Thin-window electron probe X-ray microanalysis offers new analytical possibilities for low-Z detection (i.e. elements with low atomic number; such as C, N and O). However, the quantitative analysis of individual particles raises some practical questions concerning the technique. From the analytical point of view, beam damage is one of the most important problems due to its big impact on the analysis of individual atmospheric particles. The dependence of the beam-damage effect on the type of collection substrate was studied using standard aerosol particles. Different metallic substrates were rigorously tested in relation to the beam damage effects to different kinds of beam sensitive particles. Ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, sodium nitrate as well as sulfuric acid droplets were analyzed using a liquid nitrogen cooled sample stage on different metallic substrates such as Be, Al, Si and Ag. The obtained results confirm that the use of Be as a collection surface offers some advantages in order to minimize the damage to beam sensitive particles, as suggested in earlier research.
- Beam damage
- Electron probe X-ray microanalysis
- Light elements analysis
- Single particle analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics