This gift will support Earth and Environmental Sciences research, particularly graduate student research into the chemical compositions of minerals, and it will further the department’s educational mission through teaching and demonstrations of the principles and hardware used in electron microprobe analysis.

The electron microprobe is one of the fundamental tools in modern materials characterization, used to measure the chemical composition of solids at the micron scale with high precision and accuracy.  The SX100 electron microprobe currently housed in the Robert B. Mitchell Electron Microbeam Analysis Lab (EMAL) is extensively used by students in the Earth and Environmental Sciences graduate program, by researchers from across the University of Michigan campus, and from public and private institutions. These researchers use the microprobe to measure the compositions of volcanic glass, shells, ore minerals, meteorites, precious metal deposits, aerospace alloys, nuclear waste analogues, semiconductors, optical crystals, ceramics, bones, and much more. 

The department would like to extend its gratitude to General Motors for their generous gift. In particular, we thank Dr. Daad Haddad, electron microscopy and analysis laboratory manager at GM Research and Development, and Mr. Eric Collins, ARS Administrator at GM, for their invaluable help in expediting the instrument’s donation, and in preparing the instrument for transport. Special thanks are also due to Earth and Environmental Sciences staff: Chief Administrator Julie Haggerty, Facilities Manager Craig Delap, Dean Girbach from the LSA Procurement Office, Lindsay Young from the Office of University Development, Doug Schoener, Ken Seyfried and Matt Smith from University Moving and Trucking, and Curt Withrow, Edgar Chavez, and Keith Baxter from CAMECA Instruments, who were indispensable in facilitating the donation and transporting the instrument to Ann Arbor. 

Photo: Dr. Jerry Li, Senior Research Lab Specialist in EMAL, poses with the electron microprobe donated to the department by General Motors Corporation after its delivery. Owen Neill, 2019.