When will low-contrast features be visible in a STEM X-ray spectrum image?
When will a small or low-contrast feature, such as an embedded second-phase particle, be visible in a scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) X-ray map? This work illustrates a computationally inexpensive method to simulate X-ray maps and spectrum images (SIs), based upon the equations of X-ray generation and detection. To particularize the general procedure, an example of nanostructured ferritic alloy (NFA) containing nm-sized Y2Ti2O7 embedded precipitates in ferritic stainless steel matrix is chosen. The proposed model produces physically appearing simulated SI data sets, which can either be reduced to X-ray dot maps or analyzed via multivariate statistical analysis. Comparison to NFA X-ray maps acquired using three different STEM instruments match the generated simulations quite well, despite the large number of simplifying assumptions used. A figure of merit of electron dose multiplied by X-ray collection solid angle is proposed to compare feature detectability from one data set (simulated or experimental) to another. The proposed method can scope experiments that are feasible under specific analysis conditions on a given microscope. As a result, future applications, such as spallation proton–neutron irradiations, core-shell nanoparticles, or dopants in polycrystalline photovoltaic solar cells, are proposed.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Grant/Contract Number:
- Accepted Manuscript
- Journal Name:
- Microscopy and Microanalysis
- Additional Journal Information:
- Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 03; Journal ID: ISSN 1431-9276
- Microscopy Society of America (MSA)
- Research Org:
- Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
- Sponsoring Org:
- USDOE Office of Science (SC)
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; STEM; X-ray mapping; spectrum imaging; simulation
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