analytical electron microscope (asem) for research and training in textural and chemical analysis

Funding Details
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Grant type: Research Tools and Instruments - Category 1 (<$150,000)
  • Year: 2010/11
  • Total Funding: $143,000
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Project Summary

Detailed chemical and textural analysis of synthetic and natural samples is central to the development of advanced engineered materials as well as to our understanding of the Earth and terrestrial planets. The electron microscope is one of a family of modern instruments used to provide this information. In 1982, the Department of Geology at the University of Toronto purchased a JEOL JSM-840 electron microscope with a solid-state x-ray detector, which is a system capable of providing compositional information with a high degree of spatial resolution. Since then, that instrument has consistently produced high quality data in support of diverse research that has resulted in a large number of publications and theses. The JSM-840 is now in its twenty-seventh year of operation and is in urgent need of replacement. The inevitable demise of this instrument will require users to obtain the same data from facilities which are both more expensive and more difficult to access routinely. This will significantly degrade the progress of research, and our ability to train students in an important analytical technique. Funds are being requested to purchase a new SEM, to which recently upgraded imaging and x-ray analysis hardware can be interfaced. Thus enhanced, the new instrument will combine state-of-the-art imaging with a user-friendly data acquistion interface, facilitating research productivity and providing a high quality training experience.