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.);