EPMA for Geosciences

The Penn State Materials Characterization Lab (MCL) offers electron microprobe (EPMA) services to geoscientists across the region. MCL has a new Cameca SX-5 instrument plus all the necessary geological standards and sample preparation equipment to aid you in your research. Our expert EPMA scientist, Dr. Katherine Crispin, will work with you to produce quantitative data from your samples. Dr. Crispin has her Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Case Western Reserve University. She has experience working with a wide variety of geological specimens, experimental petrology materials, meteorites, minerals, thin sections and more.

EPMA at Penn State is available through remote collaboration or for hands on use by you or your students. We offer reasonable rates and have a simple contract available for off-campus users.

What is EPMA

Electron Probe MicroAnalysis (EPMA) is a non-destructive technique to determine chemical composition of small amounts of solid materials.  A focused beam of high-energy electrons hits the sample and generates characteristic x-rays corresponding to the elements present in the material.  The beam current is typically between 10-100nA, much more intense than SEM.  This produces a higher count rate, thus improving precision, accuracy and detection limits (~100s ppm).