A comparison between quantitative EELS and APFIM microanalysis of carbonitride grains in cermets

J. Zackrisson*, W. Grogger, F. Hofer, H. O. Andrén

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microstructural characterisation of cermet materials is often performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). Due to the poor detection efficiency of light elements with EDX, carbon and nitrogen cannot be properly quantified. Instead, atom-probe field-ion microscopy (APFIM) has been used to accurately determine the content of light elements. However, this is a time-consuming method, especially when taking into account the fact that several APFIM specimens have to be prepared in a controlled way to analyse all phases present in one TEM specimen. Therefore, it is of interest to evaluate whether transmission electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) can be considered an alternative to APFIM for light element analysis. In this paper, we make a comparison of results from APFIM and quantitative EELS microanalysis of carbon and nitrogen in Ti(C, N) -based cermets. Our results show that the agreement between the two methods is good enough to permit most future analyses of light elements in these materials to be performed in the TEM using EELS. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1999


  • Cermets
  • Hardmetals
  • Light elements
  • TEM
  • Ti(C, N)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation


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