Electron Microprobe

The Department of Earth Science houses a CAMECA SX-5 FE electron microprobe.


It is equipped with a field emission gun, five wavelength-dispersive detectors, and one energy-dispersive detector (EDS).  It can conduct major, minor, and trace elemental analysis of elements from carbon to uranium at sub-micron length scales on a wide variety of solid samples.  We are experienced in analysing geological samples, including volcanic glasses and minerals, experimental run products, and metal alloys. Typically, samples are mounted in vacuum-tolerant epoxy resins or conductive Bakelite (metal alloys) and polished prior to analyses.  Analytical detection limits vary according to a variety of factors, but are typically around 100 ppm and up for multi-element analyses.  We have a good deal of experience modelling the electron beam and X-ray interactions that occur during analysis and can advise on methods to maximise spatial and analytical resolution. Actual performance of both analytical precision and sample volume will depend on the sample itself so please do get in touch if you are interested!

For rates, or to schedule use, please contact Dr. Andrew Matzen.