Southeastern Section - 60th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2011)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


KUEHN, Stephen C., Department of Physical Sciences, Concord University, P O Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712 and ALLEN, Joseph L., Geology and Physical Sciences, Concord University, Athens, WV 24712,

In 2010, Concord University, a 2800-student, predominantly undergraduate institution in southern West Virginia, installed an ARL SEMQ microprobe formerly located at the University of Kentucky as the first stage of a plan to establish a regional user facility that is open to outside commercial and academic users, with emphasis on undergraduate teaching and research. The West Virginia Research Trust Fund provided major support for initial operation of this, the only electron microprobe in West Virginia. The instrument is equipped with four wavelength-dispersive (WDS) spectrometers containing LIF/PET, PET/RAP, ADP/LIF, and TAP/OV60 analyzing crystals which enable quantitative analysis of elements from carbon through uranium. Quantitative analysis functions (beam, spectrometers, and stage) are automated using Probe for EPMA running on modern PC hardware. With support from a West Virginia EPSCoR Innovation Grant, we are currently upgrading the existing SiLi energy-dispersive (EDS) detector to a state-of-the-art LN-free SDD detector. This major upgrade provides significant enhancements to our analytical, X-ray mapping, and automation capabilities, including the ability to perform combined WDS+EDS analyses. Ancillary equipment includes a carbon coater and a separate sample preparation and polishing laboratory. The microprobe is further complemented by a Horiba XGT-5000 micro-X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analytical microscope for qualitative elemental mapping of areas as large as 100 cm2 with a resolution of 0.01-0.1 mm.

We are incorporating this instrument into the curriculum at all levels from introductory general education to advanced major courses in multiple disciplines, including the earth sciences, chemistry, and physics/material science. Among the first courses to use the instrument are petrology and introductory geology in Spring 2011. The microprobe will also be used in student independent study and thesis research as well as faculty research. To serve off-site users, we are developing the capability for remote operation of most functions needed for quantitative analysis and X-ray mapping. We anticipate use of the microprobe by other universities for both undergraduate- and graduate-level teaching and research.

  • Kuehn_Allen_SE_GSA_2011.pdf (3.4 MB)