What are the advantages and disadvantages
of Chemical Analysis?
- Gross Chemistry:
Easiest, fastest approach is the EDAX capability, usually
purchased with SEM. Also available are visible light
microscopes with simultaneous FTIR analysis.
Advantages of Both Systems
- Fast, can do it while looking at the morphology
of the sample and possible phases present.
- Relate composition to location and phases in the
sample without polishing, e.g., Fracture Surface Analysis
- Must be considered semi-quantitative.
- Lowest element detected is usually sodium
but not oxygen.
- Light element attachments get down to boron.
- Precision drops with atomic weight. Lowest
elements are qualitative - in the +/- 10 to 20%
range, depending on matrix.
- Detection limits rise as atomic weight decreases.
- Comparison with standards helps increase the
precision but requires more time.
- Can then go to expensive surface science labs to
do wave length dispersion analysis, SIMS, ESCA, AES, etc.
Sample preparation and turn around time can be problems.
- The FTIR attachment available on some of the optical
microscopes is also a possibility.