Pathfinder Webinar Series

This webinar series covers topics of importance to the X-ray microanalysis and SEM/EDS community featuring our recently introduced Pathfinder X-ray Microanalysis software and analyzer. Each presentation is designed to address a specific discipline such as metallurgy, organic materials, semiconductors and geological samples.

Analysis of Cell Phone Glass Composite

Cell phone cover glass, also known as surface covers, is an important component in today’s high-tech economy. Hundreds of millions of such items are sold each year. This material is composed of multiple surface layers designed  for scratch resistance and reduced reflections deposited on a special glass treated to increase strength.

To understand if an item has been correctly manufactured or to investigate why an item is not performing as expected it is very useful to visualize its structure at the microscopic level. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive x-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) have the ability to visualize materials down to the nanometer level and to reveal the elemental composition of a material to a resolution of some tens of nanometers.

Working with a petrographic thick section of an igneous rock, this presentation demonstrates the application and value of detailed X-ray phase mapping of very large area (27 mm X 48 mm). In order to calculate the bulk composition of a geological sample, or to interpret how the sample formed, an analyst needs to identify phases and their abundance over an area large enough to get a statistically appropriate representation of the complete sample.

This presentation shows how the multivariate statistical analysis of EDS spectral images enable the accurate identification and abundance determination of phases from very large sample areas in practical timeframes. Practical considerations, such as how much data is necessary to successfully generate phase maps, are also discussed.

Runtime: 20 minutes

Geological Analysis with Pathfinder Software

Geologists using SEM/EDS now have all the tools necessary to understand the elemental and chemical composition of petrographic and mineralogical samples. 

In our webinar we demonstrate how the Alpine configuration of our Pathfinder EDS software uses point or area analysis to qualitfy the geological spectra by weight percent, compound (oxide) percent, or can be normalized to the number of cations. We also show how we match an acquired spectrum against a known spectrum stored in a database.

Runtime: 11 minutes

Analysis of Organic Materials with Pathfinder Software

With advances in microscopy techniques such as low vacuum environmental SEMs and cryo-cooling, we can now study organic and life science materials with SEM/EDS. 

This presentation explores how the Thermo Scientific Pathfinder system reveals answers from sparse elemental distribution analysis, trace element detection and analysis based on gray-scale imaging from elemental regions and items of interest. Principal component analysis and x-ray imaging filters enable a highly effective way to visualize and characterize of these regions.

Runtime: 10 minutes

Analyzing nano-devices with Pathfinder Pinnacle

Pathfinder Pinnacle enables the characterization of semiconductor and microelectronic devices with several advanced software packages: 

  1. Extreme Element mapping with peak deconvolution and background subtraction for artifact free X-ray element mapping.
  2. X-ray imaging filters that sharpen, smooth and edge-find the X-ray element maps to ensure that you deliver clean, clear chemical images to your customers. Particularly powerful when applied to TEM data.
  3. Principal Component Analysis. Ensures the most accurate EDS phase maps with the click of a button with only a fraction of the data.

We review the capability and power of these features for cross-sectional views of semiconductor devices on the nanoscale in both the SEM and the TEM. 

Runtime: 17 minutes

Understanding alloys can be one of the most challenging analyses in SEM/EDS. Typical SEM/EDS analysis often produce a homogenous element distribution across the sample, masking important chemical differences. 

Our presentation demonstrates two techniques that successfully extract clear differences in these phases. Image filters can bring out clearly seen distinctions between phases without changing the underlying statistics in the data. Principal component analysis (PCA) algorthms quickly determine the dominate components within the sample that correlate to these phases.

Runtime: 14 minutes

Analyzing seminconductor bond pads with Pathfinder Alpine software

Fabricating devices that are smaller, faster and lower cost are key drivers in semiconductor and microelectronics industries, presenting new challenges in characterizing and understanding their composition. The Pathfinder Alpine EDS platform was specifically designed to address these challenges.

In this presentation we highlight some of the key features that assist in this work: Drift compensation, extreme element mapping and off-line data processing. We will show the types of analysis of semiconductor samples:

  1. Plan-view analysis of an array of micro-cells
  2. SEM cross-section view of asemiconductordevice 
  3. TEM cross-section view of a semiconductor device

Runtime: 15 minutes

Analyzing ceramic materials with Pathfinder Alpine software

Ceramics are used in many parts of our culture from artistic artifacts to automotive components to electronic components and more. These materials can be single element oxides or complex composites. In the case of manufactured parts, Pathfinder EDS is used to verify the composition of a sample or to look for reasons why a part has failed. In other cases Pathfinder EDS is used to learn the structure of unknown samples such as artistic artifacts.

X-ray microanalysis with the Alpine level of Pathfinder allows an engineer to visualize the elemental composition of a sample at any location on the surface of a sample. In this webinar Pathfinder is used to examine a variety of ceramic samples. In simple cases it is simply necessary to point to a specific area and confirm the composition at that location. In more complex analyses, maps are made of element distributions. With spectrum processing, elemental deposits in maps can be found down to the detection level of the instrument.

Runtime: 28 minutes

Analyzing ceramic materials with Pathfinder Pinnacle software

Ceramics are used in many parts of our culture from artistic artifacts to automotive components to electronic components and more. These materials can be single element oxides or complex composites. In the case of manufactured part Pathfinder EDS is used to verify the composition of a sample or to look for reasons why a part has failed. In other cases Pathfinder EDS is used to learn the structure of unknown samples such as artistic artifacts.

Microanalysis with Pinnacle level of Pathfinder allows an engineer to visualize the elemental composition of a sample at any location of the surface of the sample. Moreover, principle component analysis (PCA) and Phase Analysis quickly process maps to reveal the presence of combinations of elements.  In this webinar Pinnacle Pathfinder is used to examine a variety of ceramic samples. Maps reveal element distributions. With PCA and Phase Analysis maps are quickly parsed to reveal the groupings of elements in samples. Large areas can be analyzed by stitching together multiple maps analyzed by PCA and Phase analysis.

Runtime: 28 minutes

EDS turbocharged! Collecting live-time phase data

Getting good data from elemental maps with low intensity x-rays or overlapping peaks requires additional computation routines for peak deconvolution and background subtraction. With matrix corrections, the result is a crisp, unambiguous and quantitative map. We show how both Quantitative X-ray Element Maps and X-ray Phase Maps run in real time rapidly speeds your mapping analysis. 
Run time: 45 mins
Recording date: 3/24/2015 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Choosing the right EDS detector size

The last few years have seen an explosion in EDS detector sizes. We compare 100mm²/60mm² vs 30mm²/10mm². There are some fundamental questions regarding detector sizes: When is a small area better than large? When is large really better than small? Do I need both?
Run time: 15 mins
Recording date: 11/26/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Rethinking EDS detection

We review the latest advances in EDS detector technology relative to historical performance requirements; it sets the stage for a broad discussion of value-based EDS detector selection. We also introduce the Thermo Scientific™ UltraDry™ Compact EDS detector.
Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 1/21/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Image filters to the rescue

X-ray mapping is a powerful tool for analyzing the distribution of elements or components in a sample. “Noisy” images frequently impede conclusive answers due to low concentrations of an element or regions of sparse, but critical, data. Image filters can greatly improve confidence in your data. 
Run time: 15 mins
Recording date: 6/12/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Non-linear smoothing filters

Part 2 in our series on data visualization. High-quality data presentation implies high-quality data acquisition/analysis or simple style over substance. We continue our discussion of data visualization techniques for EDS: where they work and where they lead us astray.
Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 9/9/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Particle analysis with feature sizing

Feature Sizing with Chemical Typing software facilitates the identification and characterization of small particles or inclusions sparsely located throughout a matrix. This presentation shows how to measure, count and identify particles, inclusions, phases and regions of interest within the sample, and identify and save particle classes
Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 4/9/2013

View webinar  Download slides ›


Unleashing the power of COMPASS

This presentation is a fast-paced demonstration of our Thermo Scientific™ COMPASS software. COMPASS is a fully automated statistical analysis tool that eliminates any chance of misinterpretation of the data, and the possibility of your publishing incorrect results. See how you can quickly create phase maps that pin-point the critical features in your sample. Learn how any analyst will get exact same results. We will run through a number of show-and-tell examples.

View webinar  Download slides ›

EDS/WDS mapping: a review of X-ray techniques

Spectral imaging collects a full energy spectrum at each pixel in your image. Faster acquisition times and increased automation have made it one of the more commonly used microanalytical methods in SEM. We use a lunar meteorite to review the many mapping methods that spectral imaging data provides. Our review includes elemental mapping, semi-quantitative elemental mapping, quantitative elemental mapping, and phase mapping with COMPASS software. We explore benefits of each, and offer tips on choosing the right method for your application.
Run time: 25 mins
Recording date: 11/17/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Managing X-ray line interference challenges in Quant EDS and WDS

One of the greatest challenges in SEM-based microanalysis is managing interfering X-ray lines. We review the quantitative analysis of a Ti-V-Al-Fe sample consisting of two phases with only small differences in V and Fe content. We cover a number of possible techniques to resolve X-ray lines line separated by only 17 eV. Neither EDS alone, nor WDS, could solve this problem.

Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 4/8/2014

View webinar  Download slides ›

WDS to the rescue

WDS is the perfect complement to EDS. The unmatched energy resolution and low backgrounds of WDS make it the ideal technique for the definitive identification of the elements present in a sample and the quantification of elements down to a concentration of ~0.01 wt%. We cover several confounding X-ray interferences in EDS and show how WDS brings clarity in the investigation of spectra and mapping.
Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 2/17/2015

View webinar  Download slides ›


Phase mapping of apitite and monazite

Mapping phases by simply relying on X-ray maps, or using a spectral matching method, require subjective inputs into the analysis. We explore mapping apatite and zoned monazite grains. Using principal component analysis (PCA) software, we produce rich spectrum-based phase maps acquired with no input regarding the composition of sample—the PCA software does all the work.
Run time: 40 mins
Recording date: 5/13/2014

View webinar  Download slides ›


WDS spectrometer technologies

Recent developments have made wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (WDS) much more accessible to SEM/EDS work. In this presentation in X-ray microanalysis, we present the modern way to do WDS. Thanks to improved X-ray optics and better mechanical operation, what was once painstaking slow and difficult to use has become as easy to use as EDS.
Run time: 35 mins
Recording date: 6/9/2015

View webinar  Download slides ›


WDS quantification of metamorphic rock in the SEM

This presentation shows how to make quick work out of quantitative analysis of materials such as a metamorphic rock. We walk through the steps to collect WDS quantitative data from minerals in a contact metamorphosed calc-silicate rock. Thanks to routines built into the WDS spectrometer and simultaneous EDS and WDS acquisitions, plus stage automation WDS quant analysis nearly as quick and easy as EDS. 

View webinar  Download slides ›

Pathfinder Webinar Series

This webinar series covers topics of importance to the X-ray microanalysis and SEM/EDS community featuring our recently introduced Pathfinder X-ray Microanalysis software and analyzer. Each presentation is designed to address a specific discipline such as metallurgy, organic materials, semiconductors and geological samples.

Analysis of Cell Phone Glass Composite

Cell phone cover glass, also known as surface covers, is an important component in today’s high-tech economy. Hundreds of millions of such items are sold each year. This material is composed of multiple surface layers designed  for scratch resistance and reduced reflections deposited on a special glass treated to increase strength.

To understand if an item has been correctly manufactured or to investigate why an item is not performing as expected it is very useful to visualize its structure at the microscopic level. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive x-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) have the ability to visualize materials down to the nanometer level and to reveal the elemental composition of a material to a resolution of some tens of nanometers.

Working with a petrographic thick section of an igneous rock, this presentation demonstrates the application and value of detailed X-ray phase mapping of very large area (27 mm X 48 mm). In order to calculate the bulk composition of a geological sample, or to interpret how the sample formed, an analyst needs to identify phases and their abundance over an area large enough to get a statistically appropriate representation of the complete sample.

This presentation shows how the multivariate statistical analysis of EDS spectral images enable the accurate identification and abundance determination of phases from very large sample areas in practical timeframes. Practical considerations, such as how much data is necessary to successfully generate phase maps, are also discussed.

Runtime: 20 minutes

Geological Analysis with Pathfinder Software

Geologists using SEM/EDS now have all the tools necessary to understand the elemental and chemical composition of petrographic and mineralogical samples. 

In our webinar we demonstrate how the Alpine configuration of our Pathfinder EDS software uses point or area analysis to qualitfy the geological spectra by weight percent, compound (oxide) percent, or can be normalized to the number of cations. We also show how we match an acquired spectrum against a known spectrum stored in a database.

Runtime: 11 minutes

Analysis of Organic Materials with Pathfinder Software

With advances in microscopy techniques such as low vacuum environmental SEMs and cryo-cooling, we can now study organic and life science materials with SEM/EDS. 

This presentation explores how the Thermo Scientific Pathfinder system reveals answers from sparse elemental distribution analysis, trace element detection and analysis based on gray-scale imaging from elemental regions and items of interest. Principal component analysis and x-ray imaging filters enable a highly effective way to visualize and characterize of these regions.

Runtime: 10 minutes

Analyzing nano-devices with Pathfinder Pinnacle

Pathfinder Pinnacle enables the characterization of semiconductor and microelectronic devices with several advanced software packages: 

  1. Extreme Element mapping with peak deconvolution and background subtraction for artifact free X-ray element mapping.
  2. X-ray imaging filters that sharpen, smooth and edge-find the X-ray element maps to ensure that you deliver clean, clear chemical images to your customers. Particularly powerful when applied to TEM data.
  3. Principal Component Analysis. Ensures the most accurate EDS phase maps with the click of a button with only a fraction of the data.

We review the capability and power of these features for cross-sectional views of semiconductor devices on the nanoscale in both the SEM and the TEM. 

Runtime: 17 minutes

Understanding alloys can be one of the most challenging analyses in SEM/EDS. Typical SEM/EDS analysis often produce a homogenous element distribution across the sample, masking important chemical differences. 

Our presentation demonstrates two techniques that successfully extract clear differences in these phases. Image filters can bring out clearly seen distinctions between phases without changing the underlying statistics in the data. Principal component analysis (PCA) algorthms quickly determine the dominate components within the sample that correlate to these phases.

Runtime: 14 minutes

Analyzing seminconductor bond pads with Pathfinder Alpine software

Fabricating devices that are smaller, faster and lower cost are key drivers in semiconductor and microelectronics industries, presenting new challenges in characterizing and understanding their composition. The Pathfinder Alpine EDS platform was specifically designed to address these challenges.

In this presentation we highlight some of the key features that assist in this work: Drift compensation, extreme element mapping and off-line data processing. We will show the types of analysis of semiconductor samples:

  1. Plan-view analysis of an array of micro-cells
  2. SEM cross-section view of asemiconductordevice 
  3. TEM cross-section view of a semiconductor device

Runtime: 15 minutes

Analyzing ceramic materials with Pathfinder Alpine software

Ceramics are used in many parts of our culture from artistic artifacts to automotive components to electronic components and more. These materials can be single element oxides or complex composites. In the case of manufactured parts, Pathfinder EDS is used to verify the composition of a sample or to look for reasons why a part has failed. In other cases Pathfinder EDS is used to learn the structure of unknown samples such as artistic artifacts.

X-ray microanalysis with the Alpine level of Pathfinder allows an engineer to visualize the elemental composition of a sample at any location on the surface of a sample. In this webinar Pathfinder is used to examine a variety of ceramic samples. In simple cases it is simply necessary to point to a specific area and confirm the composition at that location. In more complex analyses, maps are made of element distributions. With spectrum processing, elemental deposits in maps can be found down to the detection level of the instrument.

Runtime: 28 minutes

Analyzing ceramic materials with Pathfinder Pinnacle software

Ceramics are used in many parts of our culture from artistic artifacts to automotive components to electronic components and more. These materials can be single element oxides or complex composites. In the case of manufactured part Pathfinder EDS is used to verify the composition of a sample or to look for reasons why a part has failed. In other cases Pathfinder EDS is used to learn the structure of unknown samples such as artistic artifacts.

Microanalysis with Pinnacle level of Pathfinder allows an engineer to visualize the elemental composition of a sample at any location of the surface of the sample. Moreover, principle component analysis (PCA) and Phase Analysis quickly process maps to reveal the presence of combinations of elements.  In this webinar Pinnacle Pathfinder is used to examine a variety of ceramic samples. Maps reveal element distributions. With PCA and Phase Analysis maps are quickly parsed to reveal the groupings of elements in samples. Large areas can be analyzed by stitching together multiple maps analyzed by PCA and Phase analysis.

Runtime: 28 minutes

EDS turbocharged! Collecting live-time phase data

Getting good data from elemental maps with low intensity x-rays or overlapping peaks requires additional computation routines for peak deconvolution and background subtraction. With matrix corrections, the result is a crisp, unambiguous and quantitative map. We show how both Quantitative X-ray Element Maps and X-ray Phase Maps run in real time rapidly speeds your mapping analysis. 
Run time: 45 mins
Recording date: 3/24/2015 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Choosing the right EDS detector size

The last few years have seen an explosion in EDS detector sizes. We compare 100mm²/60mm² vs 30mm²/10mm². There are some fundamental questions regarding detector sizes: When is a small area better than large? When is large really better than small? Do I need both?
Run time: 15 mins
Recording date: 11/26/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Rethinking EDS detection

We review the latest advances in EDS detector technology relative to historical performance requirements; it sets the stage for a broad discussion of value-based EDS detector selection. We also introduce the Thermo Scientific™ UltraDry™ Compact EDS detector.
Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 1/21/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Image filters to the rescue

X-ray mapping is a powerful tool for analyzing the distribution of elements or components in a sample. “Noisy” images frequently impede conclusive answers due to low concentrations of an element or regions of sparse, but critical, data. Image filters can greatly improve confidence in your data. 
Run time: 15 mins
Recording date: 6/12/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Non-linear smoothing filters

Part 2 in our series on data visualization. High-quality data presentation implies high-quality data acquisition/analysis or simple style over substance. We continue our discussion of data visualization techniques for EDS: where they work and where they lead us astray.
Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 9/9/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Particle analysis with feature sizing

Feature Sizing with Chemical Typing software facilitates the identification and characterization of small particles or inclusions sparsely located throughout a matrix. This presentation shows how to measure, count and identify particles, inclusions, phases and regions of interest within the sample, and identify and save particle classes
Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 4/9/2013

View webinar  Download slides ›


Unleashing the power of COMPASS

This presentation is a fast-paced demonstration of our Thermo Scientific™ COMPASS software. COMPASS is a fully automated statistical analysis tool that eliminates any chance of misinterpretation of the data, and the possibility of your publishing incorrect results. See how you can quickly create phase maps that pin-point the critical features in your sample. Learn how any analyst will get exact same results. We will run through a number of show-and-tell examples.

View webinar  Download slides ›

EDS/WDS mapping: a review of X-ray techniques

Spectral imaging collects a full energy spectrum at each pixel in your image. Faster acquisition times and increased automation have made it one of the more commonly used microanalytical methods in SEM. We use a lunar meteorite to review the many mapping methods that spectral imaging data provides. Our review includes elemental mapping, semi-quantitative elemental mapping, quantitative elemental mapping, and phase mapping with COMPASS software. We explore benefits of each, and offer tips on choosing the right method for your application.
Run time: 25 mins
Recording date: 11/17/2014 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Managing X-ray line interference challenges in Quant EDS and WDS

One of the greatest challenges in SEM-based microanalysis is managing interfering X-ray lines. We review the quantitative analysis of a Ti-V-Al-Fe sample consisting of two phases with only small differences in V and Fe content. We cover a number of possible techniques to resolve X-ray lines line separated by only 17 eV. Neither EDS alone, nor WDS, could solve this problem.

Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 4/8/2014

View webinar  Download slides ›

WDS to the rescue

WDS is the perfect complement to EDS. The unmatched energy resolution and low backgrounds of WDS make it the ideal technique for the definitive identification of the elements present in a sample and the quantification of elements down to a concentration of ~0.01 wt%. We cover several confounding X-ray interferences in EDS and show how WDS brings clarity in the investigation of spectra and mapping.
Run time: 30 mins
Recording date: 2/17/2015

View webinar  Download slides ›


Phase mapping of apitite and monazite

Mapping phases by simply relying on X-ray maps, or using a spectral matching method, require subjective inputs into the analysis. We explore mapping apatite and zoned monazite grains. Using principal component analysis (PCA) software, we produce rich spectrum-based phase maps acquired with no input regarding the composition of sample—the PCA software does all the work.
Run time: 40 mins
Recording date: 5/13/2014

View webinar  Download slides ›


WDS spectrometer technologies

Recent developments have made wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (WDS) much more accessible to SEM/EDS work. In this presentation in X-ray microanalysis, we present the modern way to do WDS. Thanks to improved X-ray optics and better mechanical operation, what was once painstaking slow and difficult to use has become as easy to use as EDS.
Run time: 35 mins
Recording date: 6/9/2015

View webinar  Download slides ›


WDS quantification of metamorphic rock in the SEM

This presentation shows how to make quick work out of quantitative analysis of materials such as a metamorphic rock. We walk through the steps to collect WDS quantitative data from minerals in a contact metamorphosed calc-silicate rock. Thanks to routines built into the WDS spectrometer and simultaneous EDS and WDS acquisitions, plus stage automation WDS quant analysis nearly as quick and easy as EDS. 

View webinar  Download slides ›


Spectroscopy, Elemental & Isotope Analysis Resource Library

Access a targeted collection of application notes, case studies, videos, webinars and white papers covering a range of applications for Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, near infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry, X-ray fluorescence, and more.

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