SPONSORED ARTICLE: Robust Data Interpretation in a New Era: Quantitative EDS Analysis using Pathfinder Software

Advances in EDS hardware, pulse processing and data interpretation have presented a step change in performance during the analysis of complex and challenging samples. Large area detectors with novel geometries provide an increased solid angle resulting in an improved efficiency of collection. High speed data acquisition is achieved as a matter of routine, enabling real-time quantitative analysis

Underpinning all of this is the necessity of robust quantitative analysis routines, to deliver complete confidence in the results. Thermo Scientific Pathfinder incorporates innovative algorithmic approaches, smart spectral fitting and modified Phi-rho-Z routines to facilitate accurate and precise quantification, even in the presence of multiple overlapping elements.

Reliable quantification begins with a correct identiļ¬cation of peaks and accurate determination of peak intensity for all elements present. Pathfinder achieves this using an iterative Auto peak ID, adaptive digital filtering for background removal and linear least-squares fitting to resolve overlapping peaks.  As more data arrives, results are continually modelled and refined using a range of statistical validation routines. Spectral fitting is displayed graphically to provide the analyst with complete confidence in the results.  Both standardless and standards-based analysis can be performed for all data types, including maps, point mode and linescans, with an intuitive workflow to guide the user to optimal results every time. 


  • Robust element identification routines, even at low kv and with multiple overlapping elements
  • Advanced standardless and standards-based analysis routines provide accurate quantification for all sample types
  • Real-time quantitative mapping, with adaptive kernel sizes to preserve data fidelity

Bi M line elemental map shown within a bond pad (top). Unprocessed Gross Count maps (bottom left) shows a large amount of noise due to a low number of counts per pixel, and a false background due to element overlaps. The processed Net Count map shows a much higher improved peak intensity and correct background removal using the EDS data processing routines within the Pathfinder software. 


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