Four Words Characterize the Purposes of the CMIRT

We train undergraduate, graduate students, and Faculty as independent users of the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM), the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), the Powder X-Ray Diffractometer (PXRD), and Accessories as their needs dictate. The goal is to help the student to become a confident independent operator of each instrument for which s/he receives our training.


We emphasize that the bulk of work in a good experiment occurs before the experiment is executed. We emphasize the steps in individual research: Knowledge, Refined Query, Proposal, Purposeful Preparation, and, finally, Competent Execution of an Experiement.


What is a digital image? We emphasize that a picture of Mother is very different in purpose from an image of biologic tissue or cells, nano particles, or diffraction patterns of ordered matter. Digital becomes both a common and a scientific term. We capture images as data arrays most of the time and pictures or photos(translations of an image) for the first page of a report. (see ImageJ)

There are three microanalytic instrumentalities in the CMIRT.


Energy Dispersive Spectrometry

1. An Oxford INCA Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) attached to the FEI Quanta 400 Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) analyzes phases and/or objects in any field (area) of a specimen scanned by the beam and reports the chemical elements from Boron to Neptunium. The data can be presented as "% by Weight," "Atomic %," "Apparent Concentration," or "k ratio."

[We leave to you the reader the job to delve more deeply into the precision of this system. We note that the difference from other analytic instrumentalities is that the ESEM/EDS relates elemental composition to microscopic phases in aggregate assemblages of structural/compositional phases in a specimen.]


X-Ray Diffractometry

2. The Bruker D2-Phaser Powder S-Ray Diffractometer (PXRD/XRD) analyzes powders or thin films for crystalinity. X-Rays penetrate small particles and, if their atoms are arranged in an orderly pattern, the x-rays are re-directed in an orderly manner so that they can be detected whenever they are concentrated. For every crystal the patterns of concentrated x-rays are typical of the crystal type and can, with other data such as elemental composition, be identified as crystal compounds or crystalline particles of individual elements.


3. The FEI Tecnai 12 (120kV) T(win lenses) Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) generates a beam of electrons that passes through a thin section of material or a layer small 'nano' particles and ultimately projects an image of the material on a screen coated with a phosphorescent chemical.[Why not fluorescent?]



Electrons) are particles and/or waves. Early in the 20th century, scientists discovered that particles like electrons behaved like waves when they were passing through or close to materials and like particles when they were doing other things. This duality ascribed to electrons is central to the explanation of how electrons can be diffracted in materials. X-Rays were the first electromagnetic entities applied to the study of internal crystal structure. They are apparently amplitudes all the time.