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COSMICElectron Probe Micro-Analyzer (EPMA)

Electron microprobe analysis is a non-destructive sensitive technique (< 100 ppm for most elements) which is used to determine the chemical composition of solid materials. It involves exposing a micro-volume (1-3 microns) of a sample to a focused electron beam (typical energy = 5-30 keV) and then collecting and analyzing the X-ray photons emitted by the various elemental species with suitable crystal detectors. The chemical composition can be determined because the wavelengths of the emitted X-rays are distinctive of the elements in the sample. All elements with the atomic number 4 or higher can be detected. Scientific and engineering applications from geology, materials science, electronics, biology, and mechanical and chemical engineering.

Equipment details:

Manufacturer- CAMECA, France

Model - SX100

Features of the SX100:

5 wavelength dispersive detectors (WDS) and large crystals for analyzing spots on materials down to about 5 microns and with an accuracy in the tens of parts per million.

Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy for rapid determination of about 90 samples in less than few minutes.


Qualitative and Quantitative analysis to determine chemical compositions in solid materials such as minerals, alloy, glass and ceramics.

Analysis of synthetic materials such as optical wafers, thin films, microcircuits, semi-conductors, and superconducting ceramics.

Policies & Procedures for Electron Microscopy

The facility is open to academic users from all departments of Old Dominion University as well as visitors from other universities, government agencies and local businesses. 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 the facility director, Isaiah Ruhl, via email at iruhl@odu.edu or cosmic@odu.edu, in person at PSB II 1104 or by phone (757-683-5609) to discuss your particular samples, the proposed analyses and techniques to be used and your account and contact information.

Scanning Electron Microscopy and Backscatter Electron Imaging

SEM/BSE with operator $50 /hour
SEM/BSE without operator $25 /hour
EPMA (WDS-EDS) with operator $50 /hour
EPMA (WDS-EDS) without operator $25 /hour
high volume use without operator > 250 hours $15 /hour
Technical assistance with EPMA, data, or training $50 /hour
Sample mounted in epoxy and polished to 1 micron finish $25 /sample
Carbon coating or Cu-Ni tape $10 /sample