Reston Electron Microbeam Laboratory

Capabilities

The Reston Electron Microbeam Laboratory is a multi-user facility that maintains and operates state-of-the art electron beam instruments to image and analyze micro-nanoscale properties. Lab staff along with providing instruction in the operation of microbeam instrumentation to lab users also conduct microbeam research on a variety of geologic topics.

Sample Preparation/Coating Equipment:

  • Denton carbon benchtop turbo coater
  • Leica ACE 600 carbon/iridium benchtop turbo coater
  • Spi gold sputter coater
  • E.A. Fischione 1060 SEM dual-beam ion mill (broad ion beam)
  • Standard geologic sample preparation equipment: Epoxy and thermoplastic binder compounds, grinding/polishing equipment. 

Electron Microbeam Instruments:

Along with various sample preparation equipment, the two main analytical instruments in the Reston Electron Microbeam Lab are the Hitachi SU 5000 field-emission variable pressure scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and the JEOL 8900 electron microprobe (EMP). The FE-SEM is capable of high-resolution imaging (≤5nm) and can be operated at low vacuum conditions to examine uncoated/beam sensitive samples. The FE-SEM is also equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) for elemental analysis and a cathodoluminescence (CL) detector for RGB imaging as well as CL-spectroscopy.

Hitachi SU 5000 field-emission variable pressure scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM)

Hitachi SU 5000 field-emission variable pressure scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM).

(Credit: Brett J. Valentine, Eastern Energy Resources Science Center. Public domain.)

The EMP is equipped with 5 wavelength dispersive spectrometers (WDS) and is optimized for quantitative chemical analysis of solids. It is also equipped with an EDS-SDD for rapid phase identification prior to more detailed analysis.

JEOL 8900 electron microprobe (EMP)

JEOL 8900 electron microprobe (EMP).

(Credit: Brett J. Valentine, Eastern Energy Resources Science Center. Public domain.)

Contacts

Brett J Valentine

Physical Scientist
Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Phone: 703-648-6480

Ryan J McAleer, PhD

Research Geologist
Florence Bascom Geoscience Center
Phone: 703-648-6052