Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA) for Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences

Wavelength scans across the Fe La – Lb region for a range of fe-bearing materials

Wavelength scans across the Fe La – Lb region for a range of fe-bearing materials

Date(s):  August-September 2018 (Dates TBC)

Course Organiser: Dr. Stuart Kearns

Location: 4 days at the University of Bristol and 3 days in either Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Oxford or Manchester

Aim: NERC advanced training is generously sponsoring this training aimed at post-graduate students and early career scientists whose projects require significant EPMA to achieve their intended outcomes.

Composition:   Training is in two parts: firstly a 4 day short course taking place at the School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol in September and then separately three days of one-to one tuition in an EPMA lab, at either Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Oxford or Manchester. There are a maximum of 25 places available.

PART 1 – 4 day short course PART-2 Hands-on one-to-one training
A series of lectures, practicals, paper exercises, and review sessions: The course comes with a 100 page booklet detailing the full contents:

1) Overview of X-ray generation in the EPMA;
2) Energy Dispersive Spectrometry;
3) Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry;
4) EPMA simulation – Practical aspects;
5) Use of Standards;
6) Quantitative EPMA;
7) Advanced EPMA topics.
8) Industrial applications of EPMA.

Together with Practicals:
1) The Energy Dispersive Spectrum;
2) X-ray mapping in the EPMA;
3)The Wavelength Dispersive Spectrum;
4) Monte Carlo Modelling;
5) Quantitative EPMA;
6) Trace Element Analysis;
7) Low Voltage EPMA.

Additionally there are two review sessions to recap analyses performed on instruments in the two overnight periods (one on post-processing X-ray maps and a second on quantitative data handling and errors).

There are also two short sessions where participants are encouraged to present a short 5-minute presentation on their own research area.  This then forms the basis of personal discussions with the course tutors.

Hands on training is offered either at:

  •  Bristol laboratories (both Cameca SX100 and JEOL 8530F instruments, Dr S.Kearns, Dr B.Buse)
  • Leeds Earth Science (JEOL 8200, Dr R. Walshaw)
  • Cambridge Earth Science (Cameca SX100 Dr I. Buisman)
  • Oxford Earth Sciences (Cameca SX5FE, Dr Jon Wade)
  • Manchester (JEOL 8530F, Cameca SX100, Dr J. Fellowes)

Each participant may choose the most appropriate and convenient centre for their training.

The hands on training would be aimed at familiarising the student with a particular instrument and software system, preparation (cleaning and coating) of samples, loading samples, setting up the instrument parameters – electron column, wavelength spectrometers, calibration of standards and setup of quantitative routines together with set up of X-ray mapping parameters where required by the individual.

In the three day period the students would have an opportunity to perform some analyses on their own samples to yield some preliminary results for their projects.

Costs: The short course costs, instrument access costs and travel and accommodation will be covered by the course organisers.

How to apply:  Places will be allocated on receipt of the application form (downloadable to the right)  in which applicants are required to outline both their projects and the benefits of the training programme to them. Successful applications will be those that can demonstrate how EPMA analysis is critical to a successful outcome of their research project. We will also require to strike a balance between postgraduate and early career scientists and a balance of intended training laboratories. Supervisors are encouraged to apply on behalf of students where the project has yet to start.

The deadline for applications is 19 June 2017.

Completed application forms must be forwarded as an e-mail attachment to Stuart.Kearns@bristol.ac.uk.  Informal enquiries to the same address.

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