Sample Submission

All requests for analyses must be submitted to the lab manager, Dr. Wanda Aylward, along with sample submission forms. Requests for EPMA must clearly indicate what minerals and elements are to be measured. Wanda will ensure that the instrument is set up and standardized according to the mineral/elemental information in the sample submission forms.


Sample Preparation

EPMA samples are prepared either as standard 27 mm x 46 mm rectangular thin sections or as 1-inch round pucks. Surfaces must be polished to a “microprobe polish”. SEM samples may be prepared in the same manner as for the EPMA or they may be mounted on double-sided carbon tape adhered to an Al SEM stub. For samples outside these criteria, please see Wanda to ensure samples can be properly mounted and fit inside the chamber. SEM stubs and double-sided tape are available in the lab.

For large format, biological, wet or outgassing samples, please visit MAF’s SEM in the Bruneau Center or contact Mr. Dylan Goudie for further information. All requests for MLA mapping or EBSD must also go to Dylan.

All sample preparation, including cutting, mounting and polishing, are the responsibility of the users. Thin sections can be made in-house in TERRA’s Lapidary and Saws facility. Please contact Mr. Matt Crocker for further information. For more information on how to mount and prepare epoxy pucks and on microprobe polishing, please have a look at the suggested readings (#6-8) below.

All samples should be dropped off to Wanda at least one day in advance of scheduled booking for carbon coating. Samples should be cleaned - including removal of old carbon coats - and polished (if necessary for SEM, mandatory for EPMA) by the user prior to dropping them off. Care should be taken to avoid getting fingerprints on the samples – wear gloves if necessary!

Suggested Reading

  1. Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis, J. Goldstein, D. Newbury, D. Joy, C. Lyman, P. Echlin, E. Lifshin, L. Sawyer and J. Michael, Springer, 2003
  2. Electron Microprobe Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy in Geology, S.J.B. Reed, Cambridge, 2005