Part of the Oxford Instruments Group


AZtecWave combines the high spectral resolution of the Wave Spectrometer, to resolve X-ray peaks and quantify minor and trace elements, with the speed and flexibility of EDS. This delivers an advanced and complete solution for compositional analysis on the SEM.

EDS and WDS are fully integrated and combined in the AZtecWave software, facilitating major element acquisition with fast and accurate EDS (powered by Tru-Q®) and enabling WDS to be effectively utilized when EDS reaches its limitations:

  • For the detection and accurate quantification of trace elements (<1000 ppm)

  • For the separation of X-ray peak overlaps, bringing certainty to element identification and accuracy to quantification

Request Pricing Add to quote list


By bringing together the benefits of both EDS and WDS – speed and sensitivity – AZtecWave provides accurate answers, fast. Solving real microanalysis challenges in the fields of metallurgy, geology, electronics, ceramics, semiconductors, batteries and many others.

  • Guided workflows specifically designed for combining WDS and EDS acquisition
  • Harness the high spectral resolution of the fully focussing Rowland circle Wave Spectrometer to extend the capability of the SEM beyond the limits of EDS (>10x improvement in spectral resolution) 
  • Combine measurement of major-minor elements using EDS with the measurement of trace elements and/or heavily overlapped elements using WDS
A WDS scan result acquired in AZtecWave from a Ti64 alloy showing that WDS can fully separate the Ti Kβ and V Kα X-ray peaks


  • Determine the accurate composition of all elements (Be – Pu) at all concentration levels (major - trace)
  • The optimum X-ray lines are always available for analysis (Wave max. energy range = 0.07 – 15.33 keV)
  • Reliably detect and quantify trace elements, achieved with WDS detection limits of <100 ppm for many elements (e.g. Si Kα = 9 ppm, Fe Kα = 15 ppm)
  • Be certain of element identification, particularly where elements overlap in the EDS spectrum (e.g. transition metal K lines)


  • Unique technology automatically optimizes WDS (+EDS) setup and analysis, guaranteeing excellent results for all levels of user
  • Review and assess the expected quality of WDS results (e.g. WDS scans) before pressing start, saving time
  • Step-by-step instructions, embedded help videos, and inbuilt spectrometer performance checks are included to make AZtecWave intuitive and easy to use
Figure showing show AZtecWave automatically determines where to measure the WDS backgrounds to avoid peak interferences
Graphical user interface showing the automatically selected WDS background positions for Co Kα in the AZtecWave software

AZtecWave brings electron microprobe (EPMA) like performance to the SEM – enabling an effective combination of highly accurate quantitative elemental analysis with high resolution electron imaging and other SEM-based techniques (e.g. EBSD).

Snapshot of the AZtecWave software interface showing elemental data displayed in a table
| Composition of a stainless steel determined by a combination of EDS and WDS in AZtecWave

AZtecWave includes functionality for:

Quantitative X-Ray Analysis
Qualitative Spectrum Scanning
X-ray Mapping
Point Automation of WDS and EDS Acquisition ✔ (Optional) 
WDS Standardisation
Guided Spectrometer Setup
Image Registration  ✔ (Option with upgrade)
SEM Beam Stability Monitoring
Association of WDS and EDS
WDS Spectrum Simulation
Guided Sample Exchange
Guided Spectrometer Shutdown

Quantitative X-Ray Analysis

  • Perform fully integrated WDS and EDS quantitative analysis in a dedicated navigator with a dedicated workflow
  • Smart software technology uses EDS and SEM system information to automatically select / optimise:
    • Peak and background counting times
    • X-ray lines (WDS) and line series (EDS)
    • Diffracting crystal(s)
    • WDS background position
    • EDS detector position
    • EDS acquisition settings
Guided workflow in the AZtecWave software for quantitative, combined WDS and EDS analysis
  • An acquisition timeline reliably estimates the WDS analysis time and shows the status of the Wave spectrometer as the analysis proceeds
  • Flexible options allow additional WDS acquisitions or EDS spectra to be added to an existing analysis point
  • Includes a dedicated step for viewing combined WDS – EDS quantitative data for single or multiple acquisitions
An acquisition timeline for the analysis of Si and Co by WDS from the AZtecWave user interface

Qualitative Spectrum Scanning

A WDS Scan result acquired in AZtecWave from a superalloy containing around 0.1 weight percent cobalt and compared to the simultaneously acquired EDS spectrum
  • A dedicated workflow for acquiring high spectral resolution WDS scans – providing positive visual identification of the elements present in a sample 
  • The scan range for can be easily entered using the spectrum swipe tool, or element X-ray line(s) of interest can be chosen
  • Based on the selected energy range, AZtecWave technology automatically selects the optimal crystal(s), slit size(s), slit position(s) and dwell time for the WDS scan
  • A theoretical WDS scan is shown prior to acquisition, enabling settings to be assessed and adjusted before pressing start
  • Dwell times can be set between 0.005 and 50 seconds allowing major through to trace elements to be identified in scans
  • Multiple WDS scans and EDS spectra can be reviewed and compared in a dedicated window
Figure showing WDS scan positively identifying the presence of Co in a superalloy containing ~0.1 wt% Co, which is not apparent in the EDS spectrum

X-ray Mapping

Copper, tin, and antimony element maps acquired via WDS analysis from a babbitt alloy overlaid on a secondary electron image
WDS element maps acquired from a babbitt alloy overlaid on a secondary electron image
  • A guided workflow for collecting elemental X-ray maps using a combination of WDS and EDS
  • One or more elements can be mapped using WDS and simultaneously acquired / combined with element maps collected using EDS
  • The optimal WDS diffracting crystal(s) and X-ray line(s) are automatically selected for the acquisition
  • Multiple frame mapping can be conducted with pixel dwell times ranging between 100 and 65,000 µs - for effective mapping of major through to trace elements
  • WDS and EDS elemental maps can be overlain with associated electron images
  • Includes a flexible option to add additional X-ray map(s) to an existing map set

Point Automation of WDS and EDS Acquisition (optional extra)

  • Allows WDS and EDS data to be automatically acquired from pre-defined points (stage positions) on a sample(s)
  • Automated analysis can be conducted on:
    • Individual stage positions
    • Lines of points – defined by start and end stage positions, with either a set number of points or spacing 
  • Results are displayed in a table that updates as the points are acquired and the data can be interrogated during and after acquisition
  • Options exist to define how often to remeasure the beam current and WDS backgrounds – to ensure optimum data quality and save time
  • Enables time-efficient instrument use, with the ability to run analyses whilst away from the SEM

WDS Standardisation

  • Guided workflow for calibrating on standard reference materials to ensure accurate quantitative elemental analysis 
  • AZtecWave software technology automatically selects the optimal X-ray line, WDS crystal, peak and background counting times to achieve a defined level of precision with the chosen beam current
  • Details of blocks* containing 37 and 55 standard reference materials are pre-loaded for simple setup and analysis
  • Association of beam current measurement with EDS count rate for calculation of un-normalised combined EDS-WDS results
Graphical user interface from the AZtecWave software showing tabs to guide the user through setup spectrometer

Guided Spectrometer Setup

AZtecWave user interface showing the steps to setup the gas supply to the Wave spectrometer for WDS analysis
  • Step by step workflow for Wave spectrometer setup and performance check
  • Designed for inexperienced operators
  • Ensures safe operation and enables rapid system setup
  • Guarantees optimal spectrometer performance
  • A performance test report can be generated if required (e.g. for accredited facilities)
  • Includes SEM beam stability monitoring for checking the beam is stable before proceeding with quantitative analysis
Graphical user interface from the AZtecWave software showing a schematic of a standard block that has been registered to the stage position on the SEM

Image Registration

  • Images, maps, and schematics of samples and standard blocks can be loaded into AZtec and registered to stage positions
  • Stage navigation can then simply be conducted by clicking on the registered image – making sample and standard block navigation quick and easy
  • Multiple images can be registered (e.g., for different samples)
  • Oxford Instruments 37 and 55 standard block schematics are pre-loaded, making image registration and standard block navigation even more straightforward

WDS Spectrum Simulation

  • Synthesised WDS spectrum is generated by the unique software technology that transforms EDS spectral data into high resolution, high peak to background space
  • This enables AZtecWave to automatically check for overlaps and determine the optimal X-ray lines and background positions for the WDS analysis

Detailed Applications for WDS 

Wavelength Dispersive Spectroscopy (WDS) lends itself to applications requiring quantitative compositional results from solid samples, particularly where concentrations of minor and trace elements need to be accurately determined. Application examples exist in a wide range of sectors, including metallurgy, geology, electronics, semiconductors, forensics, and energy generation and storage. Combining WDS with EDS analysis, through AZtecWave, provides a versatile system for non-destructive, compositional analysis in the SEM.

Discover detailed applications examples


Introduction to Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry

This tutorial explains the principles of Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry (WDS / WDX) and how a WD spectrometer with Rowland Circle geometry works on an SEM in combination with EDS.

Watch this video & learn:
✅ The principles of Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry
✅ How the Oxford Instruments Wave spectrometer works and how it enhances a SEM-EDS system
✅ When you might want to conduct WDS analysis and typical applications

Enhanced Compositional Mapping on the SEM Through Combined EDS-WDS Mapping in AZtecWave

This video presents how elemental mapping using a fully focussing Rowland circle, wavelength dispersive spectrometer (WDS / WDX) can enhance compositional mapping with Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS / EDX), by enabling accurate mapping of elements present in trace concentrations or impacted by X-ray peak overlaps in the EDS spectrum

This is illustrated with a WDS-EDS dataset collected from a steel sample containing multiphase inclusions, which was acquired using functionality that is coming soon to the AZtecWave software for combined WDS and EDS mapping.

Resolve Overlaps & identify trace elements using WDS Scan in AZtecWave

WDS Scan is a new workflow in AZtecWave that enables the positive identification of elements affected by peak overlaps in the EDS spectrum, and/or present in trace concentrations (Less than 0.1 wt%).

Several different sample types will be presented as examples, including minerals, metals, and solder used in electronics. In addition, the tutorial will include demonstrations of how to; (1) acquire WDS scans using the different setup tools available, (2) identify the element lines present, and (3) compare multiple WDS scans and EDS spectra.

AZtecWave - extend the capability of your SEM

Discover how AZtecWave is the perfect solution to accurately and quickly detect all elements for challenging issues in the SEM. Discover how AZtecWave can help you achieve high quality results. 


AZtecWave - WDS Scan

Discover the latest functionality for the AZtecWave WDS Scan, which powers the only WDS spectrometer with true electron-microprobe resolution and performance on the SEM. See how you can take data from SEM-EDS to a new level of certainty - by showing all peak overlaps fully resolved and accurately measuring all elements, including those present at the minor or trace level.


Resolving X-ray line overlaps using WDS & AZtecWave

Both EDS and WDS are techniques that use X-rays, generated when an electron beam interacts with a material, to determine the elemental composition. Since EDS can collect all X-ray energies at the same time, compared to WDS which collects one X-ray energy (i.e., element-line) at a time, EDS is faster and therefore more commonly used for SEM-based compositional analysis. However, WDS does bring some significant advantages over EDS.

A Practical Introduction to Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry (WDS) and AZtecWave

This tutorial will give a practical introduction to WDS and AZtecWave - our new software for combined SEM-based EDS-WDS analysis.

AZtecWave: WDS detection and EDS speed with AZtec accuracy and accessibility

AztecWave accelerates your time to results, helping you achieve more in less time, with unparalleled accuracy and certainty. In this tutorial, discover how AZtecWave provides WDS detection and EDS speed with accuracy and accessibility. 

You may also be interested in...