Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy

Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy is an analytical technique which involves the measurement of the energy of electrons which have interacted with the specimen, in order to determine their energy loss and hence deduce the nature of the atoms with which they have interacted. In electron energy loss spectroscopy a material is exposed to a beam of electrons with a known, narrow range of kinetic energies. Some of the electrons will undergo inelastic scattering, which means that they lose energy and have their paths slightly and randomly deflected. The amount of energy loss can be measured via an electron spectrometer and interpreted in terms of what caused the energy loss. Inelastic interactions include phonon excitations, inter and intra band transitions, plasmon excitations, inner shell ionizations, and Cerenkov radiation.