The Nuclear Microprobe
The nuclear microprobe has been in use for some time at Los Alamos;
IBML is now its home. The microprobe uses a superconducting solenoid
as the final lens to obtain nanoampere currents in micron-diameter
sizes. A variety of light-ion beams can be focused. Analysis techniques
such as Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy (RBS), nuclear reaction
analysis (NRA), and particle-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) are available.
The microprobe is used primarily for experiments where the spatial
inhomogeneity is inherent in specimens of real interest. Geochemical
fractionation of rare earth elements in meteorites and studies of
carbon in terrestrial minerals are examples of recent experimental
efforts with the nuclear microprobe.