UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
The Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona will receive funds to build a new electron imaging facility to support the geochronological research of the Arizona LaserChron Center (ALC), and also to serve a broad range of research activities in the Departments of Geosciences and Planetary Sciences. The instrument to be purchased is a variable-pressure, tungsten filament scanning electron microscope equipped with secondary electron (SE), back-scattered electron (BSE), energy-dispersive spectrum (EDS), color cathodoluminescence (CCL) and electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) imaging and detection systems.
The primary use for the scanning electron microscope will be to obtain BSE, color CL imaging, and trace element characterization of U-bearing accessory phases required for in situ geochronology at the ALC (an NSF Multi-User Facility). The images that will be obtained with the scanning electron microscope are critical to unravel the dates obtained from single U-bearing minerals, such as zircon by our laser ablation ICPMS National Facility. However, we also expect to support the research of others at The University of Arizona, where the SEM will yield images and elemental analytical data for: (1) Petrologic and geochemical studies of meteorites, (2) Identification of fossils and minerals for paleoclimate studies, (3) Identification of minerals, fluid inclusions, and textures and orientations for investigating petrogenesis, diffusion rates, and ore-forming processes, (4) Augmenting mineral composition and diffraction databases using coupled EBSD and EDS.