Birks, L. S. X-Ray Optics Branch, Radiation Technology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:February 2021
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- Spectrum analysis
- Wavelength dispersion
- Energy dispersion
- Types of samples and data interpretation
- Thin samples
- Bulk samples
- Improvements and limitations
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A quantitative analysis technique for measuring the elemental composition of a sample. X-ray spectrometry (Fig. 1) differs from x-ray diffraction, whose purpose is the identification of crystalline compounds. It differs from spectrometry in the visible region of the spectrum in that the x-ray photons involved have energies of thousands of electronvolts and come from tightly bound inner-shell electrons in the atoms, whereas visible photons come from the outer electrons and have energies of only a few electronvolts. See also: Atom; Electron; Electronvolt; Photon; X-ray; X-ray diffraction
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