The Michael J. Drake
Electron Microprobe Laboratory
University of Arizona

About the Lab

The University of Arizona Electron Microprobe Laboratory began operation in 1974 with an ARL SEMQ electron microprobe and has been under the overall supervision of Professor Michael J. Drake since that time. Mr. Thomas Teska provided day-to-day management of the facility from 1974 until his retirement in 1999. Since September 1999 the facility has been managed by Dr. Kenneth Domanik.

The current CAMECA SX50 electron microprobe was installed in 1990 with funding from the Keck Foundation, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and has been in continuous use for 19 years. It is equipped with four WDS spectrometers capable of full quantitative analysis of all elements from Be to U. A PGT 5000 EDS detector provides for rapid qualitative analysis. The system is fully computer controlled, allowing point analyses, line analyses, x-rap maps, and BSE images to be acquired automatically without additional user intervention after initial calibration and setup.

The microprobe facility is open to qualified users from all departments of the University of Arizona campus, other universities, and the surrounding community. Demand for microprobe time is heavy, averaging over 400 hrs/month. From 1990 - 2007, over 280 individuals from 14 University of Arizona departments, 11 U.S. universities, 7 foreign universities, 7 corporations, 1 museum and 3 U.S. government agencies used the CAMECA SX50 at the University of Arizona. Data from the microprobe was used in over 265 peer reviewed publications, 75 Ph.D. theses, 35 M.S. theses, and 1 state high-school science fair championship during this time.

Researchers usually collect their own data, and are provided with one-on-one training and full time technical support by the microprobe facility to assist them. Students are particularly encouraged to learn how to use the instrument independently. Approximately 175 graduate students and 25 undergraduate students, sponsored by over 60 different P.I.s, received hands-on instruction in electron microprobe use at the University of Arizona during the period 1990 - 2007.

We welcome new users and new applications. If you are interested in using our microprobe, or would like additional information, please feel free to contact us.