The facility is equipped with a world-class Cameca SX100 electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) instrument that enables fully quantitative analysis of almost every element in the Periodic Table between boron and uranium, on spatial resolutions as high as 1 micron. The SX100 features five wavelength dispersive spectrometers, energy dispersive spectrometer, backscattered and secondary electron detectors, reflected and transmitted light microscope, and is operated by Cameca’s Windows-based Peak Sight software. Routine detection limits are in the order of 80-200 ppm, depending on the element and the material within which it is contained. Analytical times vary with types of application, but typically are 3-10 minutes for quantitative analyses. The SX100 is exceptionally versatile and has capabilities in fields such as earth and environmental sciences, materials sciences, engineering, biological and medical sciences, archaeology, forensics, manufacturing, process and quality control. In addition to fully quantitative analysis of specific locations on samples, the SX100 can produce qualitative and quantitative element distribution maps with resolutions as high as 1 micron, line profiles and analyses of thin layers.
The Electron Probe Micro-Analyser (EPMA) is an analytical tool used to determine the chemical composition of small volumes of solid materials. Its applications include Earth and environmental materials, archaeological sciences, and engineering. Our EPMA analytical capabilities, combined with data processing software, form a very powerful and cost-effective tool for academic and industrial research. We offer bespoke analytical set-ups for almost any element combination in solids such as minerals, glasses, metals and alloys, ceramics and biominerals. The facility serves the UK-based and international Earth and environmental research communities via the Tephra Analysis Unit.