The EPMA (Electron Probe Microanalyzer) is capable of providing quantitative and qualitative measurements of chemical composition at the 1-5 micron scale in solid samples. The instrument works best for inorganic solids stable under vacuum and the electron beam, and which can be polished prior to analysis (see Preparation for details on sample preparation requirements). The EPMA can be used to measure the concentrations of a wide range of elements from B through U. Detection limits vary with on sample and analytical conditions, but are typically lower than 500 ppm. The laboratory possesses a large collection of analytical standards for ensuring the accuracy of analyses. We have extensive experience serving customers from a range of disciplines (geology, chemistry, physics, chemicals and materials engineering, pharmacology, etc.) and are therefore confident that we can work with you to design an analytical protocol that is optimal for analysis of your samples.
Our Electron Microprobe Laboratory is equipped with two state-of-the-art electron microprobes the CAMECA SX100 and the JEOL 8900. Each instrument features five wavelength dispersive spectrometers, and an energy dispersive spectrometer. A "cold finger" trap may be employed to reduce amount of hydrocarbons in the chamber enhancing analysis of light elements (carbon and nitrogen).
Summary of microprobe capabilities:
- Quantitative and qualitative WDS and EDS analyses;
- X-Ray elemental maps (EDS; WDS);
- Secondary electron and backscattered electron imaging;
- Cathodoluminescence imaging
Note: EPMA does not work for powders, liquids and materials that are highly unstable under high vacuum or the electron beam. EPMA is also not optimal for bulk analysis and cannot measure isotopic compositions. Measurements of trace concentrations below 1000 ppm, although possible, require special analytical protocols and, if possible, it is recommended that users employ other, more sensitive analytical methods (e.g. ICP-MS, SIMS) for such analyses.