Teach the Earth > Petrology > Analytical Geochemical Instrument Registry > Browse Geochemical Instruments > Electron Microprobe Laboratory - University of Colorado, Boulder

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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