# Different Aspects and Applications of Material Analysis Material analysis involves the discovery of the physical and chemical properties of all types of materials, including solids, liquids and gases. From the seemingly infinite number of properties that could be measured or determined, the analyst performs the job of supplying data on those properties which are of primary importance for the particular applications demanded of the materials or that these materials are being tested for. The analysis of materials can be broken down by the type of material of which the sample is made. The composition of solid bulk material can be analyzed by electron microprobe and x-ray, including energy dispersive x-ray, wavelength dispersive x-ray and x-ray fluorescence. Transmission Electron Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy or Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy is used to inspect for defects or impurities in solid bulk material analysis. ![](https://i.imgur.com/NGXMdcb.jpg) The composition of solid surface material can be analyzed by Electron Spectroscopy, Auger Electron Spectroscopy and Ion Scattering Spectrometry. Analysis of the composition of solid film material utilizes Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy or Neutron Depth Profiling. The analysis of liquids requires different measurement methods. Inorganic liquids are analyzed using Inductively Coupled Plasma, Atomic Emission Spectroscopy or ICP/Mass Spectrometry. Organic liquids utilize Gas Chromatography, Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, Infrared Spectroscopy or Fourier Transform Infrared Analysis. Gas analysis uses many of the same methods that are used on liquids. It can employ Gas Chromatography, Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, Infrared Spectroscopy, gas sensors or Mass Spectrometry. Any material analysis should be started at the macro or visible level. As soon as this has been accomplished, it is time to move on to the micro level. There are two kinds of modern microscopes: those that use light to form the image and those that use electrons. Although microscopes using light have a history longer than 300 years, they continue to improve constantly. Lens design improvements have practically eliminated serious aberrations. There are now many important and useful ways to obtain light microscope images, depending on the properties being investigated. One limitation of the standard light microscope in the field of material analysis is the depth of field problem. The introduction of the electron microscope eliminated this problem by using electrons instead of light to illuminate the **[headspace sampler](https://www.hta-it.com/products/gc-autosampler/headspace/index.html)**. It produced images that could almost be interpreted intuitively. ![](https://i.imgur.com/uJ397gw.jpg) The key development that made the electron microscope even more useful was the development of energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy which was a versatile tool for elemental chemical analysis. This made it possible to obtain both morphological and chemical information at the same time, although significant analysis must still be done on polished samples rather than on rough surfaces.