Nuclear Microprobe

Instrument: Nuclear Microprobe

PIXE elemental mapping used for quantitative trace element mapping


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Post author: Colin Macrae. Last update: 01/07/2014 at 4:58 pm by Colin Macrae.






Manufacturer: CSIRO. Installed 2000.

A Nuclear Microprobe (NMP) attached to a 5MeV Pelletron accelerator allows finely focused - Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) simultaneous imaging of trace, minor and major elements across most of the periodic table. The unique focusing system of the CSIRO beam-line routinely provides 1-2 micron spatial resolution with ppm level sensitivities for elements of interest to probing trace geochemistry. Numerous other methods also available on the NMP such as Ionoluminescence (IL) microscopy, Rutherford Backscattering and Particle Induced Gamma-ray Emission (PIGE) further enhance elemental mapping by providing coincident chemical information, structural morphology and light element concentrations, respectively. The installation of the Maia pixelated x-ray detector (R&D top 100 winner 2011) to be commissioned in 2014 will facilitate large scale mapping with ppm level sensitivities.

Benefits of the Nuclear Microprobe

1. Trace element mapping with ppm sensitivities and minimal host matrix effects
2. Mapping Z>13 on the periodic table
2. Ability to scan small (<20 micron) to large (many mm's) at 2 micron resolution.
3. Complimentary Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) methods such as Particle Induced Gamma Emission (PIGE), Rutherford Backscattering (RBS), Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy (STIM) and Ionoluminescence (IL).

Technical features and specifications

Uses 3MeV beam of protons from a 5MV Pelletron accelerator at the University of Melbourne


Capacity: This instrument is heavily booked, We encourage greater utilisation

Access: Access pricing may vary, External researcher use available