Electron Microprobe Laboratory

University of Colorado, Boulder

Contact Information

Julien Allaz

(303) 735 2413




Instrument Type

SEM scanning electron microscope
EDS energy dispersive spectrometer
EMPA electron microprobe; wavelength dispersive spectrometers




Typical Use:

An electron microprobe is an electron microscope designed for the non-destructive x-ray microanalysis and imaging of solid materials. It is capable of high spatial resolution (1 µm beam size) and relatively high analytical sensitivity. The analytical facilities' JEOL JXA-8600 can acquire digital secondary-electron and backscattered-electron images as well as elemental x-ray maps. It is equipped with 4 wavelength-dispersive spectrometers and an energy-dispersive spectrometer. Most of the periodic table can in principle be analyzed (Be through U), subject to several important considerations.

Conditions for Use:

  • Submitted samples will be analyzed on a contract basis (i.e. lab personnel will do the work)
  • Visitors are invited to work in the lab to work with lab personnel
  • Visitors are invited to work in the lab to design and do the work yourself

User Fees:

Contact lab manager for current rates. Short training (couple hours) can be provided on site if necessary; knowledge of x-ray theory (WDS, EDS, electron microprobe in general) prior to the use of the instrument is desirable.

Instrument Priorities:

Priorities given to funded research; lab visitor, class demonstration and student project are all welcome!

Remote Use:

Sample Preparation:

Sample must be mounted either on round mount (ca. 1 inch) or on a normal thin section (46x27 mm). Samples must be well polished; final polishing using 0.05 µm alumina powder recommended. Sample can be coated (C-coating) on site.

Standard Collections/Lab Blanks:

Complete standard collection including pure elements (metal), numerous silicates and REE-phosphate. Contact the manager for details.


Educational Use:

  • Class demonstrations are available for undergraduates
  • Undergraduate student research projects are invited
  • Graduate student research projects are invited

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