Electron microprobe analysis is a sensitive technique for non-destructive quantification of the chemical composition of in situ micrometer volumes of solid mate- rial (minerals, alloys, ceramics, glass, etc.). The electron microprobe laboratory at CU Boulder was first established in 1984 by Dr. John Drexler and Prof. Charles Stern, and for almost 30 years, the lab provided researchers from all around Colorado and from different departments (geology, chemistry, physics, engineer- ing, etc.) with precise and accurate chemical analyses. Unfortunately, the old JEOL JXA-8600 was showing signs of age, and serious analytical limitations were preventing access to the level of precision and accuracy that is required in 21st century science.
Under the directorship of Prof. Kevin Mahan, a new era for the electron micro- probe laboratory began with the hiring of Dr. Julien Allaz to manage the lab in 2012 to succeed after Dr. Drexler retired. The first goal was to seek funds to purchase a new state-of-the-art instrument, a goal reached in 2014 with a $1.24 million grant from the NSF (Major Research Instrumentation program) awarded to PIs Mahan, Allaz, and Farmer. The new instrument, a JEOL JXA-8230 equipped with LaB6 electron gun, was installed in March 2016, and has been fully operational and open to internal and external users since September 2016.