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Microprobe Lab Uni-GoettingenWhy using electron microprobe analysis?

Properties of solid state bodies are mainly affected by their chemical composition. Material changes on a sub-microscopic scale are essential for both natural and engineering material properties. Micro scale analysis aims at reducing the analytical region necessary for a complete quantitative chemical analysis within a solid sample. The general objective is to correlate properties of solid-state bodies with their chemical composition.
The electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) is a technique that can achieve a high spatial resolution of a few microns (10-6 m) on a small selected area as well as providing repeatable quantitative results. Besides, the electron microprobe is a non-destructive analytical tool. Therefore, microprobe analysis is used all over the world in industrial inspection, in material science, in damage analysis as well as in research and development.

Applications of EMPA in Geosciences

The majority of natural samples are rocks that are built up of a variety of minerals. The constituting minerals themselves are rarely homogenous in their chemical composition. But chemical variations within minerals are of special interest as they help to understand the genesis of rocks. Pressure and temperature conditions during rock formation and kinetics of mineral reactions can be determined. These findings may contribute to an overall understanding of geodynamic processes on Earth. The widespread application of micro scale analysis in modern Geosciences has become an essential tool: Analyses are applied to natural samples as well as synthetic specimens obtained from crystal growing and experimental petrology. Furthermore, EMPA has proved useful applications in biocrystallisation, environmental analysis, particle identification and archaeometry. Analyses of complex natural multi phase systems require a variety of analysable elements and the use of a flexible analyser. Due to these high demands on the analytical tool, the EMPA of the Department of Geochemistry provides the best quality electron detectors available at present.

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