EMPA – Electron Microprobe Analysis

Faculty: Science Department: Earth Sciences

Science Capability

  • Overview: EMPA  is a fully quantitative and qualitative method of non-destructive elemental analysis of micron-sized volumes at the surface of materials with the sensitivity at the level of   100 ppm for some elements.  It is an accurate microanalysis technique available to analyze  elements  from F to U  in our instrument.
  • Precise determination of the elemental composition of  rock forming minerals including  silicates, carbonates,  sulphides, tellurides,  antimonides, precious metal minerals (PGM), rare metal minerals plus  metals and alloys.
  • High resolution backscattered electron and cathodo- luminescence images of analysed samples.
  • Sample preparation requirements – polished thin sections of rocks  or  cast epoxy pucks


 Laboratory  Capacity: Cameca Camebax fully automated electron microprobe x-ray analyser  equipped with 4 wavelength dispersive x-rays spectrometers (WDX) for quantitative  x-ray elemental analysis , energy dispersive x-ray  spectrometer (EDX) for qualitative analysis.  Digital  back-scattered electron (BSE) and cathodo- luminescence (CL) imaging for textural and compositional  analysis.


  • Director: Dr. Fred Gaidies
  • Electron microprobe technologist: Maryam Shahabi Far
  • Faculty, student (PhD, MSc, BSc), postdoctoral fellows

Industrial Application

Focus: Resource Geology,  Petrology , Metallurgy

Project Examples: . Sulphide and platinum group element (PGE) mineralization of the Sudbury Igneous Complex , Ontario; kimberlite indicator and heavy mineral analyses as an exploration tool for diamond and industrial mineral exploration ; study of rare metal minerals of the Prairie Lake carbonatite, Ontario and the Blue River carbonatites British Columbia; characterization of  sulphide mineral  mill feed products to improve  nickel recovery.

Characterization of super alloys supporting  gas turbine research at  Carleton University Dept. of Aerospace Engineering and National Research Council of Canada.

Engagement type

  • Contract research and consulting
  • Fee for use

Contact Information

: (613) 520 – 2600 Ext. 4415

Facility Details