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What is EELS (Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy)?

Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) is the use of the energy distribution of electrons that pass through a thin sample to examine the content of the sample and create images with unique contrast effects.

EELS instrumentation is typically incorporated into a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) or a Scanning TEM (STEM). These microscope types use high energy electrons (60 – 300 KV typically) to interrogate the sample. As the name implies, the electrons must “transmit” through the sample and thus requires an electron transparent sample. The electrons can interact either elastically (no energy exchange) or inelastically with the sample, and it is these interactions that EELS exploits to extract information about the sample.