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Electron Microprobe

Electron Microprobe

The unique capability of the electron microprobe is the ability to determine the composition (elements Be – U) of materials using wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS). Common materials that are analyzed using the instrument include minerals, powders, thin films, and metals/alloys.

The electron microprobe is also commonly used for imaging purposes with the capability of producing secondary electron (SE) images, backscattered electron (BSE) images, cathodoluminescence images (CL), and compositional wavelength dispersive (WDS) maps/images.

Our instrument also has an electron dispersive spectrometry system (EDS) that allows for the rapid identification of elements within a material.

Instrument Configuration

  • The Cameca SXFive at Texas A&M uses a LaB6 source
  • Thermo EDS system
  • CL detector

The instrument has five spectrometers with the following crystal configuration:

  1. LTAP and LPET
  2. TAP, PET, PC0, and PC2
  3. LPET and LLiF
  4. PET, LiF, PC1, and PC3
  5. LPET and LLiF



Sample Preparation Tools

The electron microprobe has a dedicated sample preparation laboratory including:
  • LADD carbon evaporator
  • Struers LaboPol-5 sample polishing table with “automatic” arm attachment
  • Diamond polish for the LaboPol-5 table of 1µm, 6µm, and 9µm
  • Mirror plate for sandpaper polishing (1200 grit and 600 grit paper available)
  • Diamond Band Saw
  • Press (for pressed powder samples)
  • Nikon SMZ800N stereomicroscope
  • Nikon LV100 petrographic microscope
  • Epoxy disk preparation area with all needed supplies
  • Oven
  • Dedicated computer for offline data processing
  • Epson Perfection 800 Photo for high quality scans of samples

Location and Contact Information

The Cameca SXFive electron microprobe at Texas A&M University is located in the Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) in the Frederick E. Giesecke Engineering Research Building (ERB) located at 1617 Research Parkway. On the interactive Aggie campus map this is building 1611.

The electron microprobe is located in room 144 and the sample preparation lab associated with the instrument is located in room 123A.

Inquiries about use of the instrument, scheduling, and sample preparation should be directed to:

Dr. Andrew Mott
Office: 149 ERB

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