Electron micro beam techniques have advantage of being nondestructive and it is possible to analyze micrometer-sized areas to prove elemental distributions and chemical compositions (greater than ‰) from material surfaces. It has been applied for analysis in broad field of material sciences since 1960’s and nowadays an electron probe is the necessary equipment in the Earth & Planetary Sciences for mineral chemistry.

Electron Micro Probe Analyzer (EPMA) is a scanning electron microscope and equips with wave-length dispersive X-ray spectrometers (WDS). The EPMA Lab in the Institute of Earth Sciences (IES) equips a conventional W-filament type EPMA (JEOL JXA-8900R) and a field emission type EPMA (JEOL JXA-8500F) and is only frequent working probe Lab in Taiwan’s geosciences. The probes are available to work on quantitative, qualitative and X-ray intensity mapping analyses for silicates, oxides, sulfides, sulfates, phosphates, carbonates, metals and metallic alloys. A low-vacuum (a.k.a. environmental) and W-filament Scanning Electron Microscope (JEOL JSM 6360LV) with detectors of EDS (Oxford INCA), CL (Gatan mini-CL) and EBSD (HKL Channel-5) is running for chemical and mineral identification with micro structure observation. This unit is simple but powerful to examine sample textures and to make qualitative and semi-quantitative chemical analysis and structure measurements.

The Lab is supporting material and mineralogical science, which is including consultant work for sample preparation and identification of inorganic materials. Since most of studies in geosciences have to combine several analytical techniques to obtain the data for discussion as well as field survey (and space mission), it requires inter-laboratory collaboration with prompt handling and accurate data. The EPMA Lab plays a role of “gateway” of a comprehensive analytical system of geochemical and mineralogical studies in Taiwan's geosciences.

[EPMA LAB Guide]