EDS for TEM system: AZtec
AZtecTEM is an innovative EDS software specifically optimised for advanced TEM applications

AZtecTEM is a unique system approach to the characterisation of materials at the nanoscale. Building on over 30 years Oxford Instruments’ experience in TEM technologies, AZtec is everything you should expect of a next generation EDS system for TEM.

Only better.

AZtecTEM is packed with innovative new tools and technologies that will transform the way you work: you’ll get faster, more accurate results; you’ll see everything in real-time; and you’ll get more detailed reports out faster than you thought possible.

AZtecTEM at a glance

  • Advanced EDS software with Point&ID, LineScans, elemental and phase mapping...
  • Unleashes the potential of the latest generation of SDD detectors, the X-MaxN
  • Automated drift correction and real-time correction of spectral overlaps, pulse-pile-ups - helps to produce the right results in real-time
  • Based on modern multi-tasking software that enables you to acquire, analyse and print your reports simultaneously
  • Flexible for experts, guided mode for routine users
  • Global support from experts in the field

AZtecTEM Overview


  • Unleashes the potential of the latest generation of large area X-MaxN SDDs - delivering sensitivity when count rates are low and a high capacity when count rates are high.
  • Choice of detectors, including 100 mm2 active area with a special design that maximises solid angle
    • Multiple detector system enables over 2 sr solid angle (TEM and configuration depenent)
    • Windowless options for outstanding low energy performance
  • AZtec has a 64-bit performance and a true multi-tasking capability so you work at the maximum detector speed, visualise final results in real-time, report in parallel... and get the job done faster than ever


  • AZtecTEM provides the tools to explore data in your own way with a variety of options for data collection,processing and export


  • Incorporates Tru-Q® technology to provide high accuracy AutoID and quantitative analysis - so you get the right results in real-time, time after time
  • AutoLock™ provides a unique blend of predictive and reactive drift correction routines - vital when working at the nano and atomic scales
  • TruMap® and TruLine™ correct for overlaps and other artefacts in real-time, then automatically visualise the data in the best way possible


  • Guided or custom operating modes
  • AZtecTEM can assist any level of user from start to finish with Step Notes and editable Standard Operating Procedures


  • Acquire at the maximum detector speed, visualise final results in real-time, report in parallel

Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

Qualitative and Quantitative EDS analysis for TEM

Qualitative Analysis in the TEM: Real-time analysis and reporting

Point & ID

Often the first step in analysing the sample. With AZtec this is fast, accurate and reproducible - you simply select the areas to analyse then, in the short time it takes to collect a spectrum:

  • All elements are automatically identified
  • Composition is displayed in the unique miniQuant window
  • You can quickly annotate points of interest for others to note ...and send your mini report to others with a single click


Accurate and reliable, AutoID allows users to identify peaks in real-time as spectra are being collected during the scan.

  • No need to know which elements are present beforehand
  • Exclude elements from the analysis, if required
  • Uses Tru-Q technology to correctly identify elements at all count rates - even where peaks overlap


Automatically keep the field of view locked to the same area. This is of special relevance to STEM when collecting high resolution images and maps.

  • Enables analysis at resolutions that are normally difficult to achieve because of drift
  • Provides live updates of corrective actions being taken
  • A unique blend of predictive and reactive correction routines cope with different types of drift

Quantitative Analysis in the TEM: Providing the accuracy for real-time quant analysis


Tru-Q is a unique Oxford Instruments’ technology that provides high accuracy AutoID and quantitative analysis. It uses a combination of technologies:

  • Complete detector and hardware characterisation for a true standardless analysis
  • Robust FLS spectrum processing that works in all situations. For example, there is no need for any background fitting adjustment
  • Modified Cliff-Lorimer – TEM quant that allows sample thickness and density to be taken into consideration
  • Theoretical or user-defined k-factors can be applied
  • K, L or M lines can be chosen for quantitative analysis
  • PPC - Automatic correction for pulse pile-up at high count making accurate quant at 200,000 cps a reality
  • Removal of unwanted non-sample peaks (e.g. Cu from grid)

Now everyone can achieve reliable results


EDS Mapping for TEM

EDS Mapping for TEM applications

Spectral mapping should be a central tool of every EDS system - it is with AZtec

Smart Mapping

SmartMap spectral mapping brings the benefits of automatic qualitative analysis into two dimensions to identify elements and visualise their distributions.

  • The traditional ‘Windows Integral’ mapping method
  • Maps are automatically generated
  • Elements may also be manually defined
  • Mapping resolution up to 4k pixels
  • All the informtion is saved at every pixel for post-processing


At the click of a button, AutoLayer takes the often complex information contained in a set of X-ray maps and turns it into a single image that helps visualise both phase and element distribution in the specimen.

  • Instantly and automatically interprets your specimen
  • Colours automatically selected to highlights what’s important in a single image
  • Unravels the complexity of real specimens

EELS Integration

Superfast EELS integration delivers accurate simultaneous data acquisition. AZtec is capable of working at speeds well in excess of 1000 spectra per second.

  • Seamless integration with Digital Micrograph™
  • Fastest acquisition possible
  • Easy switching between integrated and stand-alone modes.
  • Highest EDS collection efficiency


TruMap is a unique real-time mapping solution that removes background and peak overlaps on the fly.

  • Eliminates erroneous data automatically
  • Corrects overlaps such as:
  • Si K and W M lines - vital to the semiconductor indusry
  • Pb M, Mo L and S K for minerals analysis
  • Can be applied to legacy data


QuantMap displays real quantitative chemical X-ray maps by recalculating SmartMap data to correct for X-ray background, peak overlaps, sample matrix effects and pile up artefacts. QuantMaps can be calculated and displayed on-line - eliminating the need to reprocess SmartMap data off-line.

  • Display results in atomic%, weight%, oxide% or atomic concentration
  • Export data to spreadsheet


AutoPhaseMap creates a phase map of the specimen using statistical measures to optimise phase groupings rather than clustering or principle components. It provides an unrivalled qualitative and quantitative analysis of automatically identified phases.

  • Distribution of each phase
  • Spectrum, composition and area fraction for each phase
  • Finds phases for all size ranges, including nanomaterials
  • Finds elements which are present in trace amounts

Linescan for TEM

EDS Linescan for TEM

LineScan brings the concepts of AZtec real-time acquisition and reporting to the study of linear variations

  • All the data is always collected and saved at every pixel
  • Easy and flexible interpretation
  • Automatically acquire multiple horizontal or vertical LineScans
  • Align image and LineScan for clear visual comparison
  • Normalised intensity scales make comparison of major and minor elements simple


TruLine Incorporates Tru-Q technology tocalculate true elemental peak variation from a line scan.

  • Corrects for peak overlaps automatically
  • Enhances real elemental differences by removing X-ray background variation
  • Real-time calculation and display


QuantLine displays real quantitative chemical linescans by recalculating SmartMap data to correct for the X-ray background, peak overlaps, sample matrix effects and pile up artefacts.

  • No need to wait for lengthy data processing...see quantitative linescans live!
  • Display results in atomic%, weight%, oxide% or atomic concentration
  • Export data to spreadsheet
  • Can work on legacy datasets

Data processing and export

Atomic column mapping

Flexible off-line data processing and data export


Maps, linescans and spectra maybe reconstructed from previously collected SmartMap or Linescan data. This enables users to :-

  • Reconstruct TruMaps from previously collected SmartMaps
  • Reconstruct QuantMaps from previously collected SmartMaps
  • Reconstruct TruLines and QuantLines from previously collected Linescans
  • Reconstruct spectra from areas and points on maps or linescans
  • Variable thickness linescans can be extracted from stored map data for detailed analysis of grain boundaries

Data Transfer

In (S)TEM it is often desirable to transfer data collected in AZtec to other programmes for further investigation. AZtec gives the capability to transfer data as:-

  • Datacubes in the form of raw files to programmes such as Lispix and multivariate statistical analysis packages for evaluation of data such as atomic column mapping
  • Excel for further processing of spectra (EMSA format), maps and linescans

Usability and Reporting

EDS Reporting for TEM

Usability: powerful for the expert - yet scalable to any user


AZtec has true multi-tasking capability, meaning that every second of data acquisition can also be used for processing and reporting.

  • Data interaction in real-time
  • Many tasks that used to take minutes now take seconds
  • Interrogate data from one project while acquiring data for a new project
  • Enable new ways of working to give a large increase in productivity

Multi-user environments

  • Profiles contain all the settings required to repeat an analysis and obtain the same results no matter who the user is
  • Step Notes and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) help at every step of your analysis and can be easily modified for personalised SOPs

Operating Modes

  • Guided Mode: Ideal for those who prefer a ‘step by step’ approach to analysis. Each step of the Navigator has a clear purpose. You can always see what is happening and what to do next
  • Custom Mode: Ideal for those who prefer the freedom and flexibility to decide what functionality they want to see and where they want to see it


No matter what your requirements, AZtec will help you present the reports you need in the format you want them.Fast: reporting direct from the interface - a simple right click and data can be e-mailed direct to your customer

  • Flexible: a dedicated application enables you to export your data in the format and resolution you want
  • Structured: a comprehensive list of report templates tailored to each application enables you to print a professional report with a single button press
  • Create your own templates!
  • Simple easy to use interface
  • Create templates for use across multiple techniques
  • Create multi-page templates
  • Create templates for single or multiple users

Brochures and application notes

AZtecTEM solutions brochure

A 16 page brochure showing why AZtecTEM is the most powerful solution for EDS on the TEM. It comprises software and hardware sections (inc X-Max 100TLE and X-Max TSR).

PDF 4.63MB
Semiconductor analysis in the TEM

Development and testing of semiconductor devices requires extensive knowledge of local structure and elemental composition. With feature sizes of <5 nm, it is often necessary to perform imaging and EDS analysis in a S/TEM.

Once in the TEM, there are still many difficulties to be overcome to acquire accurate elemental maps. Elemental analysis of semiconductors is typically difficult due to strong overlaps of X-ray lines between commonly used elements and low concentrations of dopants. Not only are concentrations of dopants small but their X-ray lines often overlap with other materials used in semiconductor processing. This brief shows how AZtecTEM solves these overlaps to achieve an accurate elemental analysis.

PDF 3.27MB
Simultaneous EDS & EELS in the TEM

In Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) there are two ‘go to’ techniques for elemental analysis: Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy, (EDS), and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy, (EELS). Simultaneous acquisition of both signals is a powerful tool for materials analysis...

PDF 4.26MB
EDS for TEM Explained

This 12 page document gives an introduction to EDS applications in the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). It covers the theory of the SDD operation and X-ray analysis.

This document is available in bulk free of charge to universities and other institutions giving a course on the subject.

PDF 4.04MB

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Product Support

Maintenance and Support

Maintenance and Support

Oxford Instruments takes pride in the support and service that we provide. Whether your requirements are general or specific, regional or national, local or international, we can tailor a package specifically for you.

Quantitative Analysis Training Courses

Quantitative Analysis Training Courses

A one-day practical course full of hints and tips to get the best from quantitative analysis. Illustrated using AZtec and INCA software, but suitable for users of any EDS system.