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This article discusses the capabilities and limitations of various material characterization methods that assist in the selection of a proper analytical tool for analyzing particulate materials. Commonly used methods are microanalysis, surface analysis, and bulk analysis. The techniques used for performing microanalysis include scanning electron microscopy and electron probe X-ray microanalysis. The article describes surface analysis techniques, including Auger electron spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and ion-scattering spectroscopy. Bulk analysis techniques, such as X-ray powder diffraction, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy, and atomic fluorescence spectrometry, are also discussed.

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