High-performance microprobe installed at University of Tasmania

Tuesday, 16 May, 2017 | Supplied by: AXT Pty Ltd

High-performance microprobe installed at University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania (UTAS) recently installed a new microprobe in its Central Science Laboratory (CSL). With a view to maximising performance, the system was supplied with a Thermo Scientific UltraDry EDS (energy-dispersive spectrometer) to help generate high-quality data faster and accelerate research.

The university secured funding for the system through the ARC Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme under the guidance of Dr Karsten Goemann, a senior research fellow at CSL. The microprobe will become the primary instrument at the laboratory, with the old system gradually being phased out.

The microprobe is a fundamental tool in geological research and as such it will be used primarily to characterise ore deposits and other rock samples. This information is of great importance to mining and minerals companies, who can use it to fast-track exploration programs by providing information about how ore deposits are formed. It will also be used for basic science, where it is used to gain a better understanding of the Earth’s composition and mechanics.

The system incorporates five WDS (wavelength-dispersive spectrometer) detectors, which are suited to detection of minor elements and trace phases due their resolution and peak to background. Using third-party software, the EDS detector is integrated and can provide good detection of major elements in relatively short time frames. Both EDS and WDS detectors can collect data in parallel to measurement times and maximise sample throughput.

“The microprobe is a key piece of infrastructure at our facility,” Dr Goemann said. “We have a large research community through CODES, an ARC Centre of Excellence that specialises in ore deposits and earth sciences. CODES have strong industry ties and links to research projects around the world.

“The microprobe will help service their needs, including research carried out by over 100 users made up of PhD students, honours students and postdoctoral researchers. The Thermo EDS suited our requirements due to its performance as well as its compatibility and ability to integrate with our software.”

Online: www.axt.com.au
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