Ion microprobe

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An analytical instrument used for the qualitative and semiquantitative analysis of elements. An ion microprobe used a high energy focused beam of electrons to sputter a microscopic amount of material from the surface of a sample. The sputtered particles are electrostatically charged and are measured with a mass spectrometer according to their mass-to-charge ratio. The resultant spectrum represents the elemental composition of the sampled area which can range from 2 to 500 micrometers. Ion microprobes have been used to determine rubidium-strontium ratios for dating stones.

Synonyms and Related Terms

IMA; IMMA; microsonde ionique (Fr.);