Total rate imaging with x-rays (TRIX)--a simple method of forming a non-projection x-ray image in the SEM using an energy dispersive detector and its application to biological specimens.
X-ray images can be formed in a conventional scanning electron microscope equipped with a Si(Li) energy dispersive spectrometer. All the x-ray events generated in the electron beam scanning process are synchronously displayed in the same manner as for dot maps. The quasi-digital image formed using Total Rate Imaging with X-rays (TRIX) exhibits good gray scale contrast and is dependent on topography, orientation and atomic number. Although this latter dependence is complex, it has been found useful in locating several types of inclusions in lung tissue (silicosis), human alveolar macrophages and cigarette smoke condensate. This is because of the greater depth of penetration of x-rays than backscattered electrons (BSE) usually used for such localizations in a matrix, and the negligible sensitivity of the Si(Li) detector to x-rays from an organic biological matrix. The optimum procedure is to use a combination of TRIX and BSE to investigate such specimens.
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