Materials characterization includes of range of scientific techniques which analyze the physical and chemical character of many types of materials in the applied sciences. Microscopy and Microanalysis provides a more specific benefit by yielding localized site information about certain features, making chemical analysis of small targeted areas possible. The scientific tools available to us in microanalysis solve many diverse problems, from understanding the homogeneity and elemental composition of aerospace and automotive alloys, to life science challenges like degradants and breakdown materials in pharmaceuticals.
In this lecture, we will start with a basic introduction to electron microscopy, and then dive deeper into the fundamentals of X-ray microanalysis. We will explore both the basics of X-ray excitation, and how to evaluate peaks in an X-ray spectrum. From there, we will look at applied examples such as composition variation in alloys, chemical mapping of components of pharmaceutical tablets, and some fascinating underlying elemental surprises in biological materials.