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Research article2011Peer reviewed

New tabletop SEM-EDS-based approach for cost-efficient monitoring of airborne particulate matter

Wilkinson, Kai; Lundkvist, Johanna; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim; Kessler, Vadim


Recent developments in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have produced tabletop instruments capable of reasonable imaging resolution at less cost compared to conventional equipment. Combining the SEM with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) allows the possibility of elemental analysis through detection of X-rays emitted from interaction between individual particles and the SEM electron beam, revealing their atomic composition. It's well known that exposure to inhalable particulate matter (PM) poses health risks and routine monitoring of the chemical content of these has been realized. Exposure information is of a general character but by combining the chemical build-up of monitored particles and knowledge of their inherent health effects will allow better risk assessment. An analysis technique using a tabletop SEM with EDS is demonstrated on particles collected onto nucleopore filters from urban, industrial and rural areas. Detailed characterization of the instruments analysis capabilities as applied to PM are described. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Monitoring; Particulate matter; PM; Scanning electron microscopy; Element analysis

Published in

Environmental Pollution
2011, Volume: 159, number: 1, pages: 311-318

      SLU Authors

        • Associated SLU-program

          Built environment

          Sustainable Development Goals

          Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
          Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

          UKÄ Subject classification

          Inorganic Chemistry
          Environmental Sciences

          Publication identifier


          Permanent link to this page (URI)