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Nicholas Ritchie - Spectrum Simulation

What Spectrum Simulation Can Teach You about
X-ray Microanalysis



Nicholas Ritchie
Gaithersburg, MD



Spectrum simulation can be an incredibly powerful instructional tool for x-ray microanalysis. In addition to being able to teach the basics such as how x-ray generation depends upon beam energy, geometry and composition, spectrum simulation can also be used to investigate more advanced questions. Simulated spectra can help to understand limits of detection or how to quantify multilayer samples. NIST DTSA II, a multi-platform (Windows/Linux) Java 1.6 application inspired by the original highly-popular Mac-based (OS 9 and earlier) NIST DTSA is an excellent platform for learning microanalysis in either a classroom setting or on your own. DTSA II provides multiple ways to simulated spectra from bulk, films or particles plus a set of tools for performing classic standards-based energy dispersive microanalysis. Each participant will be provided with a copy of DTSA II for use during the workshop and for use on their own later. Participants are encouraged to bring their own computer to the workshop and follow along / experiment as microanalysis is taught through a series of simulated examples.

Nicholas Ritchie received bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics from Trinity College, Hartford CT and a doctorate in experimental atomic physics from Rice University. Soon thereafter he joined RJ Lee Instruments (which became ASPEX, LLC) where he worked in R&D developing, among other things, the Perception software package for their flagship Personal SEM product. Here he developed an interest in high speed particle analysis by automated SEM/EDS, data mining large particle data sets and microanalysis with moderate count statistics. In 2004, he joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Microanalysis Research Group where he continues to do particle analysis and has branched into Monte Carlo spectrum simulation.

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