At the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2017 Meeting, held in St Louis, Missouri, Bruker presented a new software package, XMethod, for laser analysis of scanning electron microscopes (SEM) data.
The software can be used to analyse the composition and thickness of single or multiple layers, based on data obtained by sample excitation with the XTrace micro-focus X-ray source for scanning electron microscopes (SEM).
The package also enables the characterisation of thin films and multi-layer structures of thickness ranging from a few nanometres up to 40 microns without the need for cross sectioning the sample.
Compared to sample excitation with high-energy electrons, X-ray excitation yields significantly improved limits of detection, especially for higher-Z elements, and also enables obtaining information on the material several tens of microns beneath the surface.
The XMethod software contains a method editor, which allows the creation of standardless or standard-based multi-layer quantification methods and their calibration.
Andreas Kahl, Senior Director Product Management at Bruker’s Nano Analytics Division, stated: ‘As a provider of stand-alone Micro-XRF instruments, we take pride in the fact that with the introduction of XMethod, the SEM user can now also take advantage of the Micro-XRF technology for the analysis of thin films, multilayer structures or coatings.’