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Departments & Programs


The Stanford Mineral Analysis Facility

Ph.D. student Suzanne Birner analyzes samples of the upper mantle.

The Mineral Analysis Facility in Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences hosts several instruments used to characterize minerals, rocks, and the solid products of laboratory experiments on inorganic materials of interest in geosciences, materials science, and applied physics.

The centerpiece of the facility is a new (2012) JEOL JXA-8230 electron microprobe, capable of state-of-the-art microchemical analyses and compositional imaging (X-rays, electron, and ‘hyperspectral’ cathodoluminescence) of a wide range of solid materials, covering the periodic table from boron to uranium and concentrations as low as 100’s of ppm. Also supported are a Rigaku powder X-ray diffractometer, which can readily be used to identify and characterize powders of minerals or mixtures of minerals and other crystalline materials. The third instrument (operated with the ion microprobe facilty, SUMAC) is a conveniently-used scanning electron microscope (SEM), for routine imaging with electrons or cathodoluminescence (CL).

Please see user information page, or contact the lab supervisor Dale Burns ( or the chair of the steering committee Jonathan Stebbins (