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Electron Probe Microanalysis of REE in Eudialyte Group Minerals: Challenges and Solutions*

  • Petya Atanasova (a1), Joachim Krause (a1), Robert Möckel (a1), Inga Osbahr (a1) and Jens Gutzmer (a1) (a2)...


Accurate quantification of the chemical composition of eudialyte group minerals (EGM) with the electron probe microanalyzer is complicated by both mineralogical and X-ray-specific challenges. These include structural and chemical variability, mutual interferences of X-ray lines, in particular of the rare earth elements, diffusive volatility of light anions and cations, and instability of EGM under the electron beam. A novel analytical approach has been developed to overcome these analytical challenges. The effect of diffusive volatility and beam damage is shown to be minimal when a square of 20×20 µm is scanned with a beam diameter of 6 µm at the fastest possible speed, while measuring elements critical to electron beam exposure early in the measurement sequence. Appropriate reference materials are selected for calibration considering their volatile content and composition, and supplementary offline overlap correction is performed using individual calibration factors. Preliminary results indicate good agreement with data from laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry demonstrating that a quantitative mineral chemical analysis of EGM by electron probe microanalysis is possible once all the parameters mentioned above are accounted for.


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This article is intended for the Special Issue from the EMAS 2014 Workshop on “Electron Probe Microanalysis of Materials Today – Rare and Noble Elements: from Ore Deposits to High-tech Materials”.



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Electron Probe Microanalysis of REE in Eudialyte Group Minerals: Challenges and Solutions*

  • Petya Atanasova (a1), Joachim Krause (a1), Robert Möckel (a1), Inga Osbahr (a1) and Jens Gutzmer (a1) (a2)...


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