The loss spectra contain a wealth of information on inelastic scattering processes of the fast electrons travelling through the object. The so-called zero-loss peak comprises unscattered, purely elastically scattered as well as inelastically scattered electrons with unresolvably small energy losses (e.g. phonon scattering). In the region of low energy losses (< 50 eV) plasmon excitations, Cherenkov losses and intraband transitions are observable. At larger energy losses ionisation edges due to the interaction with core electrons occur in the spectrum. The ionisation of inner shells permits a quantitative analysis of the elemental composition (Figure 2): After subtraction of the background intensity and correction for multiple scattering effects the number of electrons of the energy loss intervals 0 ≤ ΔE ≤ w(N0) and EK ≤ ΔE ≤ EK+w(Na) are evaluated (EK: energy loss of the edge, w: width of the energy interval). Thus, the atomic areal density of element a is
na = (1/σa(α,w))*Na(α,w)/N0(α,w) ,
where σa denotes the partial scattering cross-section and α the acceptance angle. For large acceptance angles and small illumination apertures the edge intensity can be significantly influenced by the crystal orientation of the object.