SEM|EDS Analysis

SEM/EDS Analysis Services


ely on PSI for elemental analysis of your material samples. Two Jeol scanning electron microscopes (SEM, models JSM5610 and JSM5800) reveal hidden surface features with over 50,000x magnification. Each unit is equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS, or EDX) detection module, ideal for elemental analysis for RoHS testing, material analysis, and failure analysis. Our JSM5610 system is also equipped with its own XRF X-ray source for precise spot size, deep sample penetration and easy viewing of insulative materials. 


Scanning Electron Microscopy

SEM images captured at PSI:

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Avoiding Destructive Analysis

With the extra large observation chamber of our JSM5800, PSI can inspect samples up to 10in x 10in without destroying your sample. This is a benefit for clients needing to preserve their sample, as SEM analysis typically requires excision of the target area. However, it should be noted that regardless of sample size, insulative materials (non-conductors) typically require sputter coating with carbon, white gold, or platinum before they can be analyzed by SEM. This, too, is a destructive process.


Elemental Analysis

Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS, or EDX) allows PSI to identify and map the component elements of your sample. The SEM/EDS system works by firing electrons through the sample. This excites the orbital electrons of the component element, causing each to emit a distinctive energy "signature." These unique energy frequency patterns are captured by the EDS detector, and expressed using color maps (see below) to show the distribution of of elements in the target area.

Example 1. EDS elemental map showing corrosion

EDS map - elemental analysis of corrosion

SEM image of corrosion on a connector pin, @330x magnification, with EDS elemental distribution map. Scope: Connector failed in the field, with pins shorted. Sample submitted to PSI for microsection and SEM/EDS analysis. Conclusion: SEM/EDS reveals corrosion due to ingress of a chlorine (Cl) compound into the cable overmold. The result was a copper chloride that migrated between pins, causing a short. 

Example 2. EDS elemental map of healthy Pb-free solder joint

PTH EDSmap800

SEM image of PTH solder joint @230x magnification, with EDS map. Scope: Sample board was submitted to PSI for microsection and RoHS analysis. Conclusion: Color maps show bulk solder distribution of tin (Sn) and silver (Ag), as well as the copper (Cu) pin, and the nickel (Ni) and copper barrel platings. No Pb or other RoHS materials were observed.

SEM | EDS Analysis