SEM-Based WDS Analysis of Common Igneous Rock-Forming Minerals

  • Introduction

    The rigorous quantitative analysis of minerals by wave-length-dispersive spectroscopy (WDS) is typically done using an electron microprobe, a WDS-specialized analytical instrument consisting of as many as five wavelength-dispersive spectrometers. Routine mineralogical quantitative analysis typically includes WDS analysis of ~10 elements, which makes the multiple spectrometers of the microprobe appealing. In this paper, the results of doing such analysis in an scanning electron microscope (SEM) using a Thermo Scientific™ MagnaRay™ WD spectrometer and a Thermo Scientific™ NORAN™ System 7 X-ray microanalysis system are reported. Typically, such results are accompanied by bulk compositional and petrographic results from the same sample. The scope of this paper is to investigate the ability and practicality of doing WDS quantitative analysis of common igneous rock-forming minerals using an SEM with the quality of electron-probe microanalysis (EPMA).