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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.

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