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A Guided Tour of Probe For EPMA – Enterprise

probe for windows

The log window is used to store data and operations that occur during an analysis. The entire analysis can be saved to an ASCII disk file also.

Qualitative Wavelength Scans

Global Qualitative Wavelength Scans can be used to scan the WD spectrometers from upper to lower limits. Trace element identification can be performed. Single element wavescans can also be done. KLM markers can be stepped up or down during the peak identification process.

Probe For EPMA-E is divided into four basic operations:

  • Acquire! 
  • Analyze!
  • Automate! 
  • Plot!

aquire x-rays spectra

The Acquire! Window displays motor positions, count times, and scaler counts. Element assignments, count times, crystals, and spectrometers are defined here. Control of wavelength scans, digital rate meter, peak seeking, PHA parameters, and on-demand acquisitions are performed here.

Periodic Table

Periodic Table showing PET elements, lines, wavelength, and energy

optional integrated imaging electron images

The optional integrated imaging (Requires Olympus Soft Imaging System)               permits the user to acquire electron images while using Probe For EPMA-E. Analytical points and lines can be defined from the electron images. The cross-hair is used to direct the beam and stage to the points of analysis. An image can be automatically acquired for every point if so desired.

wavelength dispersive x-ray Analyze

The Analyze! Window allows the reduction of raw count rates into weight percents, choose calculation options, define bad data points, assign standards to elements, choose peak overlap corrections and other features.

wavelength dispersive x-ray Automate

The Automate! Window is used to specify sequences for unattended analysis. Choose standards and unknowns from Position List window, check the Acquire Standard Samples and Acquire Unknown Samples boxes, and then click the Run Selected Sample button.

plot wavelength dispersive x-ray

The Plot! window expedites the conversion of raw data into 2-D and 3-D plots using the integrated plotting feature. To plot a wavelength scan, choose a spectrometer in the X-Axis window, an element in the Y-axis window, and then click the OUTPUT button.

wds wavelength dispersive x-ray

Once plotted, the graph can be enhanced with K, L, M, N, or any x-ray line in the NIST x-ray table. Upper and lower background acquisition points can be set here.

Full-Width-Half-Max resolution wavelength dispersive x-ray

Full-Width-Half-Max resolution measurements can be made directly from the Wave scan Acquisition window. Point to the right side of the peak and record the number in the KeV window. Repeat for the left side and subtract. In this case, a resolution of 1.4 eV was observed.

Tri-ZAF Quant Engine
ZAF, Phi-Rho-Z, and Characteristic Fluorescence Options


During an installation, pictures are taken of typical sample configurations. Probe For EPMA – E can then render interactive stage maps so that users can quickly navigate to any area on the sample block. By clicking on the Unknown button, recent unknown analytical points can be displayed as shown in green. Recent standards and wavescans can also bedisplayed. The red circle represents the present position of the electron beam. Double-click anywhere on the image to move to that position. All the common sample holders can be stored and accessed through the Holder Selection pull-down menu. The exact positions of all standards, unknowns, and wave scans can be stored into the positional database.

Full-Width-Half-Max resolution

Before starting an analysis, peak overlaps, and high/low background overlaps can be predicted from within this window. Type in the elemental symbols with hypothetical concentrations, and then click the Calculate button.

Full-Width-Half-Max resolution

In this case, there will be a significant Cu-KB1 peak near the zinc low-background position.

Standard concentrations and positions

Standard concentrations and positions can be stored directly from Probe For EPMA-E. Double-click a standard in the list to inspect its concentrations. Search capabilities are provided using either standard names or min-max concentrations.

3-D surface map

Quantitative Contour and 3-D surface maps can be automatically created from within Probe For EPMA using optional SurferTM software.

wavelength dispersive x-ray

As a crystal approaches the electron beam, the background continuum rises sharply. Background modeling permits the analyst to accurately define the background curve.

wavelength dispersive x-ray

The periodic table can be launched with one mouse click and contains elemental properties, x-ray emission and absorption energies, x-ray fluorescence yields, isotopes and decay models.

wdx calculation

Calculations Options include Olivine, Feldspar, Pyroxene and Garnet end member calculations, in addition to a variety of other choices.

wdx linescan

Probe For EPMA easily exports data to Excel 2000 and 2003. Weight percents, oxide weight percents, stage coordinates, count times, dead times, standard counts, unknown counts and a assortment of other data is neatly divided by samples and inserted in worksheets.