Energy dispersive spectroscopy
Each element yields a characteristic spectral fingerprint that may be used to identify the presence of that element within the sample. The relative intensities of the spectral peaks may be used to determine the relative concentrations of each element in the specimen.
The x-ray signal is detected by a solid-state silicon-lithium detector and the construction and efficiency of this detector sets a lower limit on the atomic number that may be detected. Generally elements heavier than carbon (Z=5) are detectable.