Low loss spectroscopy
The low loss regime contains the majority of electrons in a typical Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy spectrum and therefore has the experimental advantage of possessing high signal. The low loss region contains much of the solid state character, that is, the response of the weakly bound, often collective valence electrons, of the solid to the disturbance created by the incident electron beam; in addition, ionization of electrons in low binding energy atomic-like levels also occurs in this energy loss range. The large signal available in the low loss region makes the acquisition of statistically significant data with a good signal-to-noise ratio relatively straightforward. The plasmon peak position is a function of valence electron density in the material and therefore provides a means of phase identification; furthermore, its sensitivity allows an investigation of the degree of solid solution formation in an alloyed material and also structural and electronic changes.