Recent Project

Frederick A. Sutton Building


Welcome to the Electron Microprobe Lab

The laboratory provides high precision quantitative non-destructive analysis of solid materials at the micron scale through electron beam X-ray spectroscopy. Our instrument is a Cameca model SX-50 electron microprobe equipped with four wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectrometers (WDS). Through a flexible array of diffracting crystals, the instrument is capable of analysis of elements boron through uranium. WDS microanalysis provides superior detection limits and spectral resolution to standard SEM/EDS systems. Under nominal operating conditions, typical detection limits are 300 ppm, and precision for major elements is on the order of 1% of the amount present. Recent developments in analyzing trace elements allow for detection limits of <15 ppm, such as for trace concentrations of titanium in quartz.

The Electron Microprobe Laboratory is part of the Department of Geology and Geophysics and is located in 384 FASB. The facility is open to academic users from across the University of Utah as well as researchers from other academic institutions, government agencies and industry.

For more information about the lab and applications, please see the subheadings under The Lab at the left. For information on sample preparation, consult the Sample preparation page.

Photo of postite by Joe Marty