The main technique for analysing material defects is scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersion microanalysis (EDS). A modern microscope, such as that of the APM laboratory, makes it possible to observe the sample at high magnifications (up to 300,000 times) while performing chemical analysis (qualitative and quantitative) on very small parts, even below one micron. This is possible thanks to the energy dispersion
microprobe (EDS), which exploits the X-ray fluorescence emitted by the sample after “bombardment” with a beam of suitably accelerated electrons. In addition to point-by-point analysis, it is possible to create scans, concentration profiles and colour maps that allow you to see how the various elements are distributed on the sample surface.