Progress further in this document and web constitutes acceptance of the terms of our copyright and disclaimer.

CSIRO-GEMOC Nuclear Microprobe

Complementary Techniques

Nuclear Microprobe analysis, which provides non-destructive, quantitative, simultaneous multielement analysis and imaging at ppm sensitivity and micron resolution, provides a complement to high sensitivity, but destructive, low resolution point analysis methods, such as laser-ablation ICP/MS, and routine methods for isotopic analysis, such as the ion-probe, and major element analysis and imaging, such as the electron microprobe (EMP).


The CSIRO-GEMOC Nuclear Microprobe (NMP) is an advanced microanalytical probe based on MeV energy ion beams, designed for geological applications and featuring:
  • Simultaneous multielement analysis of most of the periodic table.
  • Quantitative imaging of major and trace element spatial distribution.
  • Detection limits down to 0.1-0.2 ppm.
  • Spatial resolution between 1-2 µm.
  • Image areas of up to >5 x 2.0 mm2.
  • Non-destructive, even for intact fluid inclusions.
Based on these features, methods have been developed to provide tools for:
  • Ore fluid analysis through non-destructive, quantitative analysis of intact fluid inclusions in minerals.
  • Ore metallurgy and characterization through quantitative trace element imaging and profiling.
  • Diamond exploration through trace element signatures in heavy indicator minerals.
  • Melt inclusion imaging and quantitative analysis.
  • Silicate and sulfide trace element geochemistry on scales up to >5 mm at 1-2 µm resolution.
  • Trace element partitioning between minerals, melts, metals and fluids.

The new GeoPIXE II software package has been released. See below for details.

Site Map

Advanced features of NMP analysis at the CSIRO

The high performance of the new CSIRO-GEMOC NMP has particular advantages for high resolution, high sensitivity analysis of geological samples, due to its unique lens configuration, quantitative analysis methods and high efficiency detector systems.

Fluid inclusion analysis and imaging

The penetrating, non-destructive nature of MeV proton beams makes the NMP ideally suited to in situ analysis of individual fluid inclusions in minerals. Techniques developed at the CSIRO enable the determination of the composition of the original trapped fluid, and the imaging of inclusion content.

Quantitative trace element imaging method

A powerful algorithm called Dynamic Analysis, developed at the CSIRO for unmixing elemental signatures in proton induced X-ray spectra in real-time, provides a tool for rapid quantitative imaging of trace and major element spatial distribution in minerals.

The new CSIRO-GEMOC Nuclear Microprobe

The new CSIRO-GEMOC Nuclear Microprobe features a number of technical advances, including a unique high performance lens system, and was designed at the CSIRO and developed in collaboration with the MARC group, University of Melbourne, and the GEMOC key-centre, Macquarie University.

The New GeoPIXE II Software Package

A new GeoPIXE software package for PC has been released for quantitative PIXE image and analysis using the Dynamic Analysis method. It provides sorting of list-mode data, projection of quantitative images, extraction of concentration averages and line projections from arbitrary regions, correction for various spatial matrix effects, and various export and reporting outputs.

GeoPIXE II Web Site

Features of GeoPIXE II:

Collaborative and contract research with the CSIRO

The NMP is available for collaborative research projects and commercial analysis and imaging. Feel free to send an email message here to discuss your particular geological problem, research proposal or microanalytical requirements.

The Australian Microscopy Virtual Laboratory

The CSIRO-GEMOC Nuclear Microprobe is an integrated part of the "Australian Microscopy Virtual Laboratory" providing a common web-based interface to a range of microanalytical instruments across the CSIRO.

Nuclear Microprobe ion beam analysis methods

Ion-beam analysis methods involving the detection of induced X-rays, scattered particles or nuclear reaction products, provide tools for microanalysis, element imaging, light element detection, and the characterisation of trace element lattice residence.

NMP application areas

Research at the CSIRO has led to the development of new explorations methods for diamond, and unique data for ore characterisation and the study of ore-forming processes and the structure and evolution of the earth's mantle. This area is currently under construction.
For further information contact: Dr Jamie Laird or Dr Chris Ryan
Phone +61-3-8344 8375
Fax orders +61-8-6436 8586
CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering
c/o School of Physics, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
CSIRO Australia

CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering
CSIRO © 1999-2011
Please direct comments about this web page to Chris Ryan.
Graphics for these pages have been prepared using Amiga rendering and image processing software.