Welcome to the web site of the


Electron Microprobe Laboratory

Facility for microanalysis of solid materials

The laboratory is equipped with a Superprobe JEOL JXA 8200 purchased in 2007 and was officially opened November 22, 2007.

The instrument belongs to a consortium that comprises the following three universities

  • University of Leoben
  • Karl-Franzens University of Graz
  • Graz University of Technology

The microprobe is installed at the Department of Applied Geosciences and Geophysics, Peter Tunner-Str. 5, A- 8700 Leoben, Austria

Two additional work stations are available at the Karl Franzens University, Institute of Earth Sciences and Graz University of Technology Institute of Applied Geosciences, allowing to users of these universities to work with the instrument independently and directly from their departments.

The most relevant characteristics of the instrument are

  • 5 WDS spectrometers with different analyzer crystals (see figure 1) for the analysis of all the elements comprised between boron and uranium. Theoretically, up to 30 elements can be simultaneously and quantitatively measured.
  • A Si(Li) EDS detector.
  • Secondary and Backscatter imaging with magnification from 40 to 300,000x. Images may be acquired digitally for further processing.
  • High resolution digital X-Ray mapping with both EDS and WDS spectrometers and image processing software for image analysis.
  • Cathodoluminescence detector.
  • All analytical modes are fully automated.

Uses and Applications

Electron microprobe analysis is a non-destructive method for determining the chemical composition of tiny amounts of solid materials. Therefore, any solid material that is stable under high vacuum can be investigated with this technique. In particular we can obtain chemical and textural information on Earth materials (minerals and rocks), on synthetic crystals, metals, alloys, steel, glasses, ceramics, on electronic components, on mineralized bones and shells.

We can provide qualitative analyses of particles or areas of about 1 microns in size, and semi quantitative or quantitative analyses of particles or areas of more than 3 microns in size. At the moment we can measure major elements but are establishing schemes for the analysis of trace elements and determine the valence state of certain elements. Electronic images, elemental distribution maps, cathodoluminescence signals can be acquired and stored in digital format.

With respect to geological investigation, our microprobe is commonly used for igneous, metamorphic, ore minerals, experimental petrology and geochronology. We are also specialized to obtain analyses for rare and accessory phase such as the Platinum Group Minerals (PGM), gold and REE bearing minerals, etc. etc..


A full-time academic staff member and a technician are available at the University of Leoben for providing advice, training and carrying out the analytical work.

Our lab is part of UZAG, a consortium of the earth sciences departments of the University of Leoben, Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Graz University of Technology and we serve the permanent research staff and students of these three Universities. We welcome external users from academia and industry (e.g. the mining industry). Users can either be trained to use the instrument under the supervision of the laboratory staff, or have their analyses done for them by lab personnel, upon payment.

For more information please contact

Federica Zaccarini
University of Leoben Department of Applied Geosciences and Geophysics
Peter Tunner-Str. 5
A - 8700 Leoben, AUSTRIA
E-Mail: Federica.Zaccarini(at)unileoben.ac.at