Particle analysis applications

Informed decisions based on morphology and chemistry

Unlike light-optical methods, AZtecFeature classifies particles and features not only by size and shape but also by their chemical composition,
including any combination of these parameters.

The extra dimension provided by compositional analysis creates certainty as to the origin and impact of identified particles on materials properties or
an industrial process. It opens up applications in R&D and industrial process control such as:

  • Technical cleanliness – identify of the source of contaminants in precision manufacturing processes in the electronics, semiconductor and automotive industries
  • Engine wear analysis – monitor combustion engine health by analysing particles found in engine oil filters
  • Steel cleanliness – analyse the nature and origin of non-metallic inclusions in metals and steels
  • Forensic analysis – detect and analyze trace evidence material in crime science and industrial forensics
  • Geology and mineralogy – identify and measure phase compositions and textures in geological samples
  • Air filter analysis – monitor air quality and pollution by analysing particles in air filters
  • Asbestos - identify fibres in a sample by morphological analysis and confirm the type of asbestos present by chemistry

Rare particle detection

AZtecFeature is ideally suited to rapidly find rare features or particles of interest, solving so-called ‘needle in a haystack’ problems.

By processing the electron image, candidate features can be identified rapidly and their chemistry confirmed by EDS. This technique is widely used in crime forensics to identify gunshot residue and for identifying precious metals in ore samples. It can cut the analysis time from hours to minutes and free up the operator’s time.

Big Data - processing large area maps

AZtec offers the automated acquisition of large area X-ray maps which are used to reveal nanoscale features distributed over large areas. AZtecFeature is used to extract X-ray data from large area maps comprising tens of gigabytes of data. By intelligently combining the information from electron images and X-ray mapping data, AZtecFeature is an effective data mining tool to analyse large sets of analytical data.

  • Search large area mapping data for particular phases or inclusions
  • Perform morphological measurements and classify the features found in these datasets
  • Quantify grain sizes and shapes for compositionally inhomogeneous phases
  • Work on previously acquired mapping data