Electron probe micro-analysis

X-ray-elemental map showing the distribution and variation in concentration of copper (C) in a polished thin section of Permian mudstone containing altered authigenic sheets of native copper associated with secondary copper sulphides and copper oxide alteration products.
Cameca SX50 electron probe microanalyser with vertical wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectrometers

A Cameca SX50 electron microprobe completes the trio of electron beam instruments operated by the BGS. The SX50 is equipped with three fully automated wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectrometers and a PGT energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis system. The instrument is routinely used for quantitative analysis of the main rock-forming minerals and accessory phases, for microchemical mapping and for automated searching for rare-phases (e.g. platinum group minerals and gold).


The electron microprobe laboratory at Keyworth play a major role in projects spanning the BGS science programme, including:

  • Mineral CO2 sequestration research
  • Radioactive waste disposal research
  • Metallogenesis studies
  • Heavy mineral-based provenance studies


Please contact Dr Jeremy Rushton for further information.