Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray (WDS Analysis)

Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (WDS) is a quantitative x-ray technique used to identify the elemental composition of materials. Applications include material identification, wear particle analysis, contaminant identification, and inclusion analysis. WDS can also be used to determine compositional homogeneity and compositional gradients at boundaries.


WDS is a surface analysis technique that uses an x-ray beam to produce photoelectrons on the surface of a prepared sample. WDS systems are attachments to the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) where the imaging capability of the microscope identifies the specimen of interest. The beam generally penetrates the outer 50 Angstroms of the sample. The photoelectrons are separated and interpreted using diffracting crystals. Quantitative chemical analysis using WDS is achieved by collecting on NIST traceable standards prior to analyzing an unknown composition.

  • Rapid identification of metal alloys with small sample size
  • Quantitative elemental composition
  • Identification of alloy inclusions and phases
  • Low voltage microanalysis below 5 keV
  • Magnification – from 5x to 300,000x
  • Solid inorganic materials
  • ASTM E 1621
  • Pinhead of material or particle