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Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDX)

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDX) is an analytical technique used for the elemental analysis or chemical characterization of a sample. It is one of the variants of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy which relies on the investigation of a sample through interactions between electromagnetic radiation and matter, analyzing X-rays emitted by the matter in response to being hit with charged particles.

cogsHow does it work?

Its characterization capabilities are due in large part to the fundamental principle that each element has a unique atomic structure allowing X-rays that are characteristic of an element's atomic structure to be identified uniquely from one another. There are four primary components of the EDX setup: the beam source; the X-ray detector; the pulse processor; and the analyzer.

A number of free-standing EDX systems exist. However, EDX systems are most commonly found on scanning electron microscopes (SEM-EDX) and electron microprobes. Scanning electron microscopes are equipped with a cathode and magnetic lenses to create and focus a beam of electrons, and since the 1960s they have been equipped with elemental analysis capabilities. A detector is used to convert X-ray energy into voltage signals; this information is sent to a pulse processor, which measures the signals and passes them onto an analyzer for data display and analysis.


Chemical analysis; defect analysis; interfacial analysis; coating analysis

Sample Handling Requirements:

Sample size from few millimetres up to few centimetres. Must be electrically conductive.

Complementary Techniques:


Warwick capability:

EDAX Genesis.


Claire Gerard: c dot gerard at warwick dot ac dot uk / 07385 145064


Typical results format, and sample:

EDX spectrum glassEDX sample - Colour Elemental Image Map



Warwick collect/analyse data
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