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

Date(s):  30 July – 2 August 2018

Course Organiser: Dr. Stuart Kearns

Purpose: NERC advanced training are generously fully sponsoring this graduate level two part short course training in Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences (EPMA).

Entry requirements: The course is open to UK-based post-graduate students and early career scientists whose projects require significant EPMA to achieve their outcomes.

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

Application guidance: There is a maximum of 25 places available.  Places will be allocated on receipt of an application form 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 post-graduate and early career scientists. Supervisors are encouraged to apply on behalf of students where the project has yet to start.

Training is in two parts: firstly a 4-day short course taking place at the School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol in July/August and then separately three days of one-to one tuition in an EPMA lab, at either Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester or Oxford.

Training breakdown:

Part 1 – 4 Day Short Course

A series of lectures, practicals, paper exercises, and review sessions: The course comes with a 100-page booklet detailing the full contents: Lectures: 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.

PART-2 Hands-on one-to-one training

Hands on training is offered either at the Bristol laboratories (both Cameca SX100 and JEOL 8530F instruments, Dr S.Kearns, Dr B.Buse), Leeds (JEOL 8200, Dr R. Walshaw), Cambridge (Cameca SX100 Dr I. Buisman), Manchester (JEOL 8530F, Cameca SX100, Dr J. Fellowes)  or Oxford Earth Sciences (Cameca SX5FE, Dr J. Wade). Each participant may rank 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.

The deadline for applications is no later than 17:00 11 May 2018.  Late applications will not be considered.  All applications will be reviewed and applicants informed by 25 May 2018.

Completed application forms (download here) must be submitted by 17:00, 11 May 2018 as an e-mail attachment to Stuart.Kearns@bristol.ac.uk.



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