Author Topic: Probe Software Forum Newsletters  (Read 37201 times)

John Donovan

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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2020, 09:23:43 PM »
Here is the summer 2020 newsletter that was sent out to members a couple of weeks ago:

What a summer for everyone! Pandemic, hurricanes and forest fires here in the western US.  In celebration of the rain clearing some of the smoke, here is the Probe Software User Forum Summer newsletter.  The Probe Software user forum continues to be busy this summer with 11 new topics, 153 new posts and 66 new members since June 1. The forum totals currently stand at 8929 posts in 1120 topics by 573 members. Here are a few highlights from the last few months.

Mike Jercinovic and John Donovan had an interesting discussion on how analytical error relates to concentrations:

Ben Buse and John Fellowes discuss how to capture video from optical microscopes and chamber scopes here:

Some of us were able to watch the M&M virtual presentations in August, with some discussion here:

I would encourage any presenters on EPMA related topics to feel free to post links to their presentations on the user forum there. Here John Donovan provides an update to the WDS and JEOL EDS integration in Probe for EPMA:

Jeff Chen started a topic on PictureSnapApp "testimonials" on the user forum here:

If you enjoy using PictureSnapApp on your instrument, please feel free to post about your experience there.

Brian Joy asks about synthesis of PGE compounds here:

Glenn Poirier provides some examples of using Probe for EPMA integrated with the JEOL EDS detector on his JEOL 8230:

Ben Wade shares some laser ablation measurements of the Smithsonian standards here (remember to log in to see attachments):

Ben Garcia asked for (and received) a modification in PictureSnapApp to better navigate his samples on their Tescan SEM at PNNL:

Ben Wade and Mike Matthews asked for (and received) a modification to the documentation controls in the Standard application:

Michael Lance and Probeman discuss using various scan modes on inhomogeneous samples:

Ben Wade and others discuss halide standards here:

AnneF asks if there is a method to obtain a reliable 5 nm carbon coat thickness without a thickness monitor...

John Donovan discusses using interpolated MAN backgrounds including interpolation with multi-point backgrounds (MPB):

This is related to the presentation that Phil Orlandini gave at M&M this summer.  Meanwhile Probeman shares some thoughts on remote teaching of instrument courses and labs:

John Donovan shares some thoughts on some recent remote training sessions with a customer:

Crystalgrower comments on synthesis of various standard materials here:

Brian Joy and SEM-geologist (and others) discuss detectors, instrument and temperature stability in the lab:

John Donovan and Ben Wade discuss using duplicate elements on multiple spectrometers and "aggregate mode" in Probe for EPMA to improve elemental sensitivity:

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
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John Donovan

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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2020, 08:56:46 AM »
Here is the Fall 2020 newsletter that was sent out to members a couple of weeks ago:

Hoping everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Here is the Probe Software User Forum Fall newsletter.  The Probe Software user forum continues to be busy this fall with 25 new topics and 193 new posts since September 1. Here are a few highlights from the last few months.

Kristian Drivenes and Benjamin Wade, Phillip Poeml and others discuss various standard materials and Astimix mounts:

Michael Lance, Probeman, Benjamin Wade, Probe321 and others discuss EDS vs. WDS resolution:

Brian Joy, John Donovan and others discuss various approaches to calculating H2O/OH by formula stoichiometry using matrix iteration techniques:

Glenn Poirier, John Donovan and others discuss methods to acquire long narrow quantitative scans at arbitrary angles on large samples:

Juvegre asks for help with some electrical/electronics issues with a JEOL 8900 but no one has responded with any advice so far:

Ben Buse posts some ImageJ code and suggestions for manipulating x-ray map output:

Ben Buse, John Donovan, Joseph Shaw and Andrew Locock discuss subtleties of mineral formula recalculations:

Ben Garcia points out an odd behavior of the JEOL EIKS interface when the mag is set to an arbitrarily high value:

Quite a number of lab positions posted in the EPMA Positions Open topic:

Ben Buse starts another discussion on calculation of mineral formulas here:

Mike Jercinovic asks about humidity control in analytical lab spaces:

Dawn Ruth asks and Anette von der Handt replies on a question of maintaining lab cleanliness:

John Fournelle asks about bremsstrahlung production from diamond and it's suitability as an MAN background calibration standard, and amazingly no one has responded yet:

John Fournelle (as MAS archivist of MAS) asks for historical materials from the 1960s and onwards that document our field:

Can anyone help him?

Meanwhile Ben Buse asks for values for sulphur in bcr2-g glass:

John Donovan released full spectrum intensity files from Penepma 2012 (and Penepma 2016) for pure elements Li-Cm at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 keV using 1 eV bins (40 hour simulation each):

These files are included in the Penepma distribution that is included with CalcZAF.

Ben Buse asked for (and received) a modification of the peak fitting routines in Probe for EPMA:

Mike Matthews asks for (and no one has responded yet) to a question about diamond wire saws:

Anette von der Handt announces a new release of the ProbeLab ReImager software (written by Noah Kraft) for batch export of images from Thermo NSS/Pathfinder and JEOL PC-SEM softwares:

John Fournelle announces the publication of a new EPMA review paper by Xavier Llovet, Aurelien Moy, Philippe Pinard and John Fournelle:

Ben Garcia asks about transformation of points digitized in "other" apps (not PictureSnapApp):

John Donovan responds with some questions and eventually a suggestion on utilizing the TestFid application that is distributed with CalcZAF.

Miss Boron asks for advice regarding a sudden outbreak of "bad totals" in their Peak Sight output and Mike Jercinovic and sem-geologist respond:

John Donovan provides some additional documentation on the .POS file format utilized in Probe for EPMA and the TestFid position transformation methods:

And last, but certainly not least, Glenn Poirier posts a very nice "testimonial":

Hope everyone is healthy, staying safe and all looking forward to a happy holiday!
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
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John Donovan

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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2021, 05:27:52 PM »
Here is the Spring 2021 newsletter we sent out a week ago:

We just realized that we missed sending out a winter user forum newsletter this year! So with apologies, we'll skip right to the Probe Software User Forum Spring 2021 newsletter.  The Probe Software user forum continues to be busy this year with 36 new topics and 353 new posts since January 1st. Here are a few highlights from the last few months.

SEM Geologist discusses detector dead time on Cameca WDS instruments, with an emphasis on the various components that are included in the dead time process and subsequent correction:

Radek_MM re-starts a discussion on innovation and testing of EPMA instruments and is joined by John Donovan and Nicholas Ritchie and others:

John Donovan, Anette von der Handt, Dave Adams and others comment on stability of EPMA instruments and the apparent need to (sometimes) "try turning them off and on again"

Pvonlant requests a new feature for DTSA-II and Nicholas Ritchie is there to help:

John Donovan announces a new flag in the Probewin.ini file to prevent the JEOL 8230/8530 software from "freezing" some controls in the JEOL software after an acquisition is performed:

Jacob and others join in a discussion of flow detectors and counter efficiency:

Dave Adams and Probe321 discuss JEOL software versions:

Jon Fellowes starts a discussion on using MAN background methods on samples with off-peak acquired elements, which culminates in a modification (bug fix?) to the Probe for EPMA source code:

SEM Geologist and Jon Wade discuss digital noise in Cameca instruments:

This following post is worth reading if one wants to understand the subtleties of utilizing MAN background corrections on samples acquired using off-peak methods. John Donovan summarizes the two MAN/Off-Peak flags in the Analytical menu and how they can be applied:

SEM Geologist discusses tiff files and also shares his code for reading Cameca ImpDAT files:

Dan Ruscitto asks for advice on analyzing Ar using EPMA and gets many responses:

John Donovan reminds everyone that there is a very cute method to be sure that Probe for EPMA (for acquisition of standards) and Probe Image (for acquisition of x-ray maps) are utilizing the *exact* same analytical sample setup for obtaining quantitative X-ray maps.

Aurelien Moy announces a new forum board for discussion of the new BadgerFilm software for quantification of thin films using EPMA:

Dirk Mueller asks about some peak artifacts he recently noticed when scanning the Al peak in Al2O3 and is joined by SEM geologist and Probeman:

Glenn Poirier asks about using carnuba wax in the EPMA instrument:

Finally Julien Allaz summaries a discussion with Mike Jercinovic and John Donovan on setting the PHA baseline and window values on JEOL and Cameca EPMA instruments:

We hope everyone is healthy and vaccinated!  Can't wait to see you all in person someday!
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
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John Donovan

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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2021, 09:03:33 AM »
Here is our summer 2021 newsletter that was sent out a week ago:

Here is our Probe Software User Forum Summer 2021 newsletter.  The Probe Software user forum continues to be busy this year with 20 new topics and 208 new posts since June 1st. Here are a few highlights from the last few months.

Esmrln and Probeman discuss mounting of Smithsonian standards:

CrystalGrower posts a short biography on John Rucklidge:

John Donovan discusses how to simulate TDI effects in Probe for EPMA for teaching and also some improvements in simulating spectra for LDE/PC Bragg crystals:

John Donovan discusses a fix for Andrew Locock to allow the halogen correction for stoichiometric oxygen to be applied to an element calculated by stoichiometry:

Probeman posts a link to a Youtube video from Veritasium discussing single bit flips from cosmic rays and tells a story of the use of high threshold logic (originally designed to avoid this radiation damage in satellites) in the ARL SEMQ microprobe:

Probeman and Jacob discuss carbon contamination when measuring trace carbon in the EPMA:

Michael Lance asks about osmium standards and several join in a discussion:

John Donovan announces Probe Software's newest expert EPMA consultant, Mike Matthews:

John Donovan discusses how to properly acquire TDI x-ray maps for beam sensitive samples (also for dealing with carbon contamination when measuring trace carbon) when also acquiring off-peak x-ray maps in Probe Image:

Brian Joy, John Donovan, Jon Fellowes and Probeman discuss the challenges of measuring trace vanadium in titanium rich matrics and the use of interference corrections and blank corrections:

SEMGeologist, Probeman and Crystalgrower discuss standards for sulfur:

John Donovan gives short tutorial on how to correct TDI effects when quantifying x-ray maps for beam sensitive samples using CalcImage:

Gareth Seward made what we think is an excellent suggestion to add a "standard mount name" field to the standard database table. So we added it:

John Donovan and Brian Joy have fun discussing mass versus atomic number averaging in EPMA:

We hope everyone is healthy and vaccinated!  Still can't wait to see you all in person someday!

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
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John Donovan

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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2021, 10:58:40 AM »
This is the fall 2021 newsletter sent out about a week ago...

Hi all,

The Probe Software user forum has been busy this fall, with over 21 new topics and over 277 new posts just since Sept 1. The forum totals currently stand at 9835 Posts in 1210 Topics by 696 Members... here are some recent highlights...

Of course the Open Letter to the MicroAnalysis Community was the big topic this season:

If you haven't seen this letter yet please read it, comment and *please* offer to participate in this endeavor. We need "all hands on deck" as an international community in order to identify, locate and procure these synthetic standard materials in quantities sufficient for global distribution.

Some of you (Will Nachlas, John Fournelle, Aurelien Moy, Nicholas Ritchie, Dawn Ruth and others) have already been contacting industrial/commercial producers of synthetic minerals and have gotten quotations. Thank-you, this is useful information for subsequent planning!  But we need more volunteers to contact people in government/state laboratories, especially in Russia and China, who (I've been told) may have such materials stashed away and "ours for the asking".

If you do begin such investigations (treasure hunt?), and obtain information leading to the location of suitable synthetic minerals, please post your discovery to this topic and contact Will Nachlas at the address/email found in this post:

Meanwhile, others such as Crystal Grower, suggest other possible candidates for synthetic mineral standards such as MgSiO3:

We appreciate all suggestions and even better, possible sources for obtaining such materials! And related to the above is the discussion on the accuracy of inter-laboratory measurements discussed in this topic on cpx/opx barometer accuracy, where sem-geologist and Dave Adams discuss Na standards:

On another topic, Probeman points out the importance of including coating corrections especially for quant mapping, especially when ones standards are carbon coated, but the unknowns are not (even for energetic emission lines like Fe Ka):

Axel Wittmann asks for help and Nicholas Ritchie responds with analyzing sub micron grains of NiP separated from meteorites:

A paper by Donovan, Allaz, von der Handt, Seward, Neill, Goemann, Chouinard, and Carpenter on quantitative WDS mapping came out this fall:

It's a long paper but worth a read if you also would like to produce fully quantitative WDS elemental maps yourself. Remember: treat your pixels, just like your points!

John Donovan points out the importance of using sufficiently "hot" conditions for quant x-ray mapping, in order to obtain reasonable statistics in your quant maps:

Probeman discusses the effects of the matrix correction on trace vs. minor elements:

And for light elements such as fluorine, these matrix effects of unanalyzed elements can become quite large, as discussed here:

The actual GUI options in Probe for EPMA are discussed here for elements calculated by stoichiometry to stoichiometrically calculated oxygen:

A discussion on the detection limits calculations for multi-point backgrounds (MPB) elements is here:

Since the calculation of detection limits depends not only on the peak intensity, but also the background intensities, obviously the MPB detection limit calculation is depends on the "Iterate To" parameter specified for MPB elements. Note this parameter can be modified for off-line processing in Probe for EPMA.

We added a new "Acquisition Options" button in the "Basic EPMA" window as shown here:

for beginners and casual users of the software, as suggested by Anette von der Handt.

Anette von der Handt also pointed out a handy feature that some may not be aware of, for acquiring a different number of standard points per standard in the Probe for EPMA Automate! window:

The latest Penepma (pure element) simulations now include modeling up to 30 keV.

To update to the latest Penepma simulation files, see this link:

When one uses the Combine Data Lines From Selected Samples button in the Analyze! window, new code now utilizes the EDS spectra for quantified EDS elements:

Phil Orlandini is brainstorming on creating a "hybrid" microanalysis instrument:

Got some ideas? Please chime in!

A while back we added additional modeling to simulate the "polygonization tail" effects in WDS Bragg crystals:

But it does take a bit more time, so we have made it an "option" for our "demo" mode when used for teaching.

Probeman's new favorite color palette:

Just kidding!  A new "history of Cameca" topic has been made:

Have any stories from the "olden days"? Please feel free to contribute.

Probeman responds to comments from Jon Wade and SEM_geologist on the proposal to create global microanalyssi standards using high purity synthetic minerals:

Here is a post on the Google spreadsheet created by Nicholas Ritchie to document the availability of synthetic mineral standards:

Anette von der Handt made a wish that there could be some sort of "zoom" feature in the Pixel Extraction window in CalcImage:

This latest code modification should work we think.

Brian Joy and Changkun park discuss changes in peak shape over time from PET crystals on JEOL instruments:

Probeman asks about gun align failures at higher beam energies and sem-geologists responds:

New keywords have been added to the [Image] section of the Probewin.ini file to specify the default image size and default image acquisition channel:

Axel Wittmann announces a new geoanalysis conference in Freiberg, next August (2022):
That's all for now. Looking forward to the holidays and in the northern hemisphere we're getting close to the longest nights of the year, so I at least am also looking forward to the coming spring! Hoping you all are well and staying safe.

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 12:56:19 PM by John Donovan »
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2022, 12:59:25 PM »
Hi all,

This is the third in our "new features" newsletters, written to highlight improvements to the CalcZAF and Probe for EPMA software. We've been asked by several customers and forum users that an occasional newsletter of this type would be helpful in getting a summary of these software changes. The point often mentioned is that while there are many improvements to the software, they sometimes get "buried" in the normal forum activity.

Remember you can update your CalcZAF and/or Probe for EPMA software any time for free from the Help menu to get these latest new features. For a complete listing of all changes to the software, please see the version.txt file that is provided with each update of the software.  It is also posted to the forum here:

02/16/20    Work on increasing MPB arrays from 12 to 18 to deal with more than 6 "shared" bgd elements per spectrometer (Jercinovic and Williams).
v. 12.8.4

02/13/20    Add new button/code to allow assigning current shared channel fit parameters and manual flags to all
v. 12.8.3     other shared channels. That is, other elements on same spectrometer and crystal (Williams and Jercinovic).

02/28/20    Add automated imaging in PFE when using confirm positions only (Goemann).

                    This feature allows one to acquire automated images, even when only "confirming" stage positions from the Automate! window.

03/05/20    Allow user to edit number of points to skip in plot TDI curves for CalcImage TDI plots. Modify Output Sample parameters
                    to utilize middle pixel (rather than first pixel) in CalcImage (Allaz).

03/06/20    Modify Bruker, JEOL and Demo EDS get net intensity code to allow for sensitivity calculations by returning "off-peak" bgd count times (Hanson).

03/11/20    Add load and output to Surfer for TDI correction percents (Allaz).

This feature allows the user to visualize the time dependent intensity (TDI) corrections for each pixel in quantitative x-ray maps.

04/19/20    Modify CalcImage Align and Crop feature to support PrbImg files (in addition to GRD files) (Fellowes).

This feature can be useful when one needs to perform the align and crop *before* converting the PrbImg files to GRD files for subsequent quantification in CalcImage. This could be useful when performing replicate TDI acquisitions and there is sample drift from one TDI replicate to the other.

01/23/21    Modify TDI code to handle Nth point with zero time fraction (Allaz). This is because with zero time fraction, there is no on-peak data for the                      first of Nth points. See:

This is a slightly complicated topic because of the subtle way in which the TDI and Nth point features interact. See above link for full details.

06/29/21        Add Moy et al, 2021 Z Fraction exponent calculation button to Assign MAN dialog
                         and improve code for updating MAN fit display.

07/20/21    Add Aurelien Moy code for Droop method for amphiboles (still testing).
v. 12.9.7
                    Aurelien and I would appreciate any comments on this new amphibole code. See the calcic and sodic amphibole options for calculating                             excess oxygen from ferric/ferrous iron ratios in the Calculation Options dialog in Probe for EPMA (and CalcZAF).

08/13/21        Add new keyword to Probewin.ini to specify which WMF image file to load as default when StageMap form loads.

09/18/21         Add new standard database field for standard mount name(s) (Seward).
v. 12.9.8 

10/08/21    Add UnknownIsStandard option in Calculate Options dialog (Ruth, Fellowes, Orlandini).
v. 12.9.9

11/07/21    Add Acquisition Options button to Basic EPMA form (von der Handt).

11/13/21    Add "expansion" feature to Extract Polygon window in CalcImage for working with small images (von der Handt).

This feature allows one to load quant x-ray maps for pixel extract at 2x, 3x and 4x normal size for better visibility.

We hope you all find these new features useful and Happy New Year to all.

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
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John Donovan

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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2022, 12:11:10 PM »
Here is the Spring 2022 forum newsletter that went out a couple of weeks ago:

 Hi all,

The Probe Software user forum has been surprisingly busy all winter, with over 25 new topics and over 238 new posts and 27 new members since Dec 1st. The forum totals currently stand at 9936 Posts in 1232 Topics by 713 Members... here are some recent highlights...

Sander has questions about plotting phi-rho-z curves. Brian Joy, Probeman and Nicholas Ritchie respond.  Sem-geologist asks about the xphi correction of Merlet:

John Donovan describes new options for outputting formula units for non-analyzed elements from quantitative mapping, e.g., carbon in carbonates, followed by a discussion of output of quant maps for excess oxygen (from say ferric iron), not only when measuring oxygen, but also when utilizing the excess oxygen from ferric iron using the method of Droop via charge balance:

This is followed by Probeman looking at TDI effects when performing quant mapping on apatite:

Brian Joy is "getting aggressive" with units once again:

Rom asks about integrated intensity scans for quant analysis in Probe for EPMA and Probeman tries to help:

Some recent job listings in EPMA:

John Donovan notes that the mapping acquisition time in Probe Image is now displayed when running Probe Image from within Probe for EPMA (why wasn't this done before!):

John Donovan notes a cool trick that one can utilize to import stage calibrated images from other applications:

Sem-geologist attempts to reverse engineer some Cameca binary data files:

Rom asks and John Donovan answers a question of the spectral interference correction:

Probeman again asks for help with vacuum/electronics "glitches" that shut down the ion pump:

John Donovan briefly discusses how Probe for EPMA handles different units for JEOL and Cameca spectrometers (off-line question):

EUGEN asks for help designing a new 3 axis stage for his LIBS instrument:

Probeman discusses some recent successes in testing high purity simple oxides (MgO, Al2O3 and SiO2) as primary standards for analysis of other silicates and oxides:

Probeman thought this was funny (but he's a strange guy and yes, he owns a cat):

Orlandin asks about a Promethium standard and as Crystalgrower points out, Probeman manages to confuse that with Pr!  But the advice to utilize the "Virtual Standard" feature in Probe for EPMA still applies:

Probe Software now notes non-standard EDS systems on their EPMA customer list. If your instrument contains a non-standard EDS system, and it is not listed, please contact us by email:

Julien asks about aging of sealed Xe detectors and Probeman, Karsten Goemann and Brian Joy respond:

Rom asks about PHA settings for "WS". Sem-geologist responds while Probeman confuses WS for "wavelength spectrometer", when apparently Rom meant "wave scan" Agreement is had once the confusion is cleared up:

Juvegre announces the Athen (virtual) EPMA workshop (Probeman will be "there"):

Donggao Zhao asks about the calculation of mean atomic number and Probeman responds:

Dominique asks about an iron carbide standard:

John Fournelle is asking about information on some garnet standards in their collection:

Dan Ruscitto asks if anyone has tested the JEOL EDS system for accuracy:

Probeman just can't stop with the science jokes:

Probeman discusses the importance of proper dead time calibrations for accurate EPMA and Brian Joy and sem-geologist respond:

John Donovan starts a new topic to discuss the FIGMAS k-ratio consensus measurements which is related to the effort to obtain high purity synthetic silicates and oxides and the effects of poor dead time calibrations on these k-ratios and Nicholas Ritchie and crystalgrower respond:

That's all for now. Looking forward to spring (in the northern hemisphere). Hoping you all are well and staying safe.

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2022, 01:00:25 PM »
Here is the summer 2022 newsletter that went out a couple of weeks ago to members:

Hi all,

The Probe Software user forum has been very busy all summer, with over 19 new topics and over 370 new posts and 11 new members since June 1st. The forum totals currently stand at 10514 (!) Posts in 1259 Topics by 735 Members... here are some recent highlights.

The big topic this summer has been the discussion primarily between Probeman, Brian Joy and SEM-Geologist (with supporting data from Anette von der Handt and James Maner) regarding the sources of and correction for dead time effects for WDS spectrometers. This all began when Probeman started looking at EPMA instrument performance using a new method for calibration of spectrometer dead times and picoammeter linearity, i.e., using the "constant k-ratio" method (with John Fournelle). Basically this new method tests the assumption that the measured k-ratios of two materials (measured at the same beam currents) containing significantly different concentrations of an element, should remain constant over a large range of beam currents (count rates), if the instrument dead times are properly calibrated. And that the same data set, when calculated using a single primary standard at a single beam current, can also reveal any non-linearity of the picoammeter.

This topic started early in the summer but if you'd like to get caught up quickly, it's probably best to start with this post and keep reading the subsequent posts:

This discussion continued in parallel with a new topic started by Brian Joy here entitled "Generalized dead times":

While we are still evaluating data from multiple instruments, the upshot from what we can tell is that the traditional (linear) dead time expression (Ruark, 1937) starts failing at count rates above ~50K cps, so we clearly need a better dead time model, especially for modern instruments with large area Bragg crystals. Then Probeman and Aurelien Moy came up with a new logarithmic (non-linear) expression seems to work well at count rates up to ~200K cps and possibly higher. Meanwhile Brian Joy found another non-linear (exponential) expression from the literature (Schiff, 1936), that is also very interesting, but requires an iterative solution (probably the reason it was never utilized previously) and also fails mathematically at relatively moderate count rates when utilizing dead times of ~3 usec or more.

In fact there appears to be a suggestion that perhaps the exponential expression is best utilized on JEOL spectrometers where there appears to be some evidence of extending dead time effects, while the logarithmic expression is better utilized on Cameca spectrometers with its "enforced" dead time electronics.  But the jury is still out, so we await further discussion and data from other instruments. But one result is that now all of these expressions can be utilized in Probe for EPMA as discussed here:

Finally it should also be noted that the constant k-ratio method can also be utilized to check that all ones spectrometers produce k-ratios that are consistent with one another as presented by James Maner:

Have you checked your spectrometers using the constant k-ratio method?  Be sure to be sure that your PHA shifting (pulse height depression) stays within range when acquiring intensity data over such large ranges of count rates as pointed out by Probeman:

On other topics, Dave Adams asks about specifying excess oxygen in glasses and Andrew Locock and Probeman respond:

Rom asks about seeing intensities from multiple MAN datasets and Anette von der Handt and Probeman respond:

Karsten Goemann wrote up a nice short tutorial on calibrating images in Probe for EPMA:

There is also recent discussion regarding the use of the "interpolated" off-peak MAN method, where one utilizes off-peak standards to create MAN calibration curves for unknown samples, seen here:

First some questions from Rom about the MAN absorption correction, then a bug report from JonF when using multi-point background acquisitions (MPB) for these interpolated MAN curves, and a fix from John Donovan, followed by some suggestions to Rom on practical limits of the MAN method when utilizing (interpolated off-peak) standards containing major concentrations of the element in question:

Please note that one can now plot (or export) raw count rates (not dead time corrected or beam current normalized) from the Output Standard and Unknown XY Plots dialog as noted by Probeman:

John Donovan also notes that Probe for EPMA now outputs the dead time constant (DEAD:) for each element and also the dead time correction percentage (DTC%:):

Probeman makes a joke about instrumental sensitivity here:

Probeman makes a suggestion that, when performing consensus k-ratio measurements (after proper dead time calibration of one's instrument!) on the FIGMAS standard mounts from Nachlas and Moy, we measure our k-ratios at multiple electron beam energies:

Probeman and SEM Geologist continue to discuss JEOL and Cameca PHA and count rates:

Rom has more questions about the (interpolated) MAN background method, particularly absorption corrections for oxygen:

Probeman and SEM Geologist get "further into the weeds" regarding PHA, electronics, and temperature control effects:

SEM Geologist performs some modeling/simulation of PHA electronics:

Probeman discusses some recent measurements of PHA and constant k-ratios on his SX100 using a minimal (integer) "enforced" dead time value of 1 msec:

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2023, 11:33:49 AM »
Here is the Fall 2022 newsletter that went out about a week ago:

Hi all,

The Probe Software user forum has been busy this fall, with over 7 new topics and over 190 new posts and 18 new members since October 1st. The forum totals currently stand at 10693 Posts in 1265 Topics by 743 Members... here are some recent highlights.

Andrew Locock started a discussion asking "what are the *downsides* to owning a FEG EPMA instrument?", and Anette von der Handt, Probeman and SEM-Geologist responded:

Probeman and SEM-Geologist continue their discussion regarding the constant k-ratio method including picoammeter linearity testing:

Also a discussion for possible correction of systematic differences in effective take-off angle for WDS spectometers (asked by Entoptics):

And most critically also a discussion of the importance of properly optimized PHA settings, for not only the constant k-ratio method, but also quantitative WDS in general:

Probeman and SEM Geologist continue discussions regarding the pulse processing electronics:

and what non-linear effects might be introduced by the pulse processing electronics from non-ideal pulse shapes or pulse processor response:

as SEM Geologist speculates that WDS dead times are extending at sufficiently high count rates. Probeman then asks what other non-linear effects could be causing these subtle (< 1%) "squiggles" in the constant k-ratio data:

SEM-Geologist and Brian Joy continue their discussions of pulse processing electronic/schematic details:

A small but useful feature was implemented in Probe for EPMA allowing one to temporarily disable the EDS interface if one is not intending to utilize it, when opening the Acquisition Options dialog from the Acquire! window:

Philipp Poeml announces the EMAS 2023 workshop:

Probe Software is pleased to announce that the JEOL MEC EDS interface (for iSP100 and iHP200F instruments) is now implemented in Probe for EPMA for integrated quantitative WDS and EDS using standards:

The eternal struggle to separate software problems from hardware problems:

Life may have started in minerals:

Probe for EPMA is now running at Los Alamos National Lab and Sandia National Lab on JEOL instruments:

Anette von der Handt posts this information on EPMA history at the request of a new forum member:

How to handle elements disabled for quantification in STRATAGem when exporting from Probe for EPMA:

In a new topic Rom asks how can one automate the measurement of the same elements at different conditions in Probe for EPMA and John Donovan responds:

Another question from Rom on transferring ones configuration and standard compositions, to an off-line computer for data re-processing (and teaching!). Remember, Probe Software allows all users of the software to install Probe for EPMA on as many computers as desired, for off-line data re-processing:

EPMA Christmas humor from Anette:

Some thermal "heat maps" from Anette of her JEOL iHP200F instrument:

A very interesting study by Anette on the effects of adjusting PHA bias and gain on her JEOL instrument:

Probeman again points out the importance of adjusting one's PHA settings at the highest count rates expected, for proper quantitative analysis:

SEM-Geologist and Probeman continue discussing photon coincidence and Monte Carlo modeling of, because it appears that the traditional dead time expression properly corrects for not only the case of single photon coincidence (an incident photon and another coincident photon), but also multiple photon coincidence (an incident photon and multiple coincident photons)!  Hence the logarithmic expression *must* be correcting for observed non-linear effects at higher count rates (> ~50 kcps), probably due to the behavior of our pulse processing electronics.

Aurelein Moy posts a nice explanation and flow chart of his Monte Carlo code for modeling dead time here justifying these conclusions:

And here, a nice "fall" spectrum from the offices of Probe Software:

And finally some amazing colorized SEM images of forest soils and their microscopic inhabitants:

OK, last but not least, Probeman creates topic on new mineral discoveries with an CNN article about two new mineral species identified by Andrew Locock:

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2023, 01:07:03 PM »
Here is the Winter 2022 newsletter that went out about a week ago:

Hi all,

The Probe Software user forum has been busy this winter season, with over 15 new topics and over 118 new posts and 11 new members since January 1st. The forum totals currently stand at 10911 Posts in 1281 Topics by 755 Members... here are some recent highlights.

Glenn and Julien gave advice to Ansaheric on how to export JEOL raw map data:

Dave C is looking for a synthetic Mn standard:

Anette von der Handt wished for a button to export all EDS spectra from Probe for EPMA into the EDS OEM format. And her wish was granted!

Andrew Locock asks for a procedure for calculating empirical mass absorption coefficients along the lines of XMAC using Aurelien Moy's BadgerFilm software and several members reply:

John Donovan reported some results for quantitative  maps and acquiring major and trace elements at high (200 nA) beam currents (next it needs to be tried at 400 nA!):

And in the next post adds some thoughts on pulse height depression at these high beam currents for high concentration elements:

SEM-Geologist discusses very high (1000 nA) beam currents and Bragg crystal damage:

John Donovan asks about back issues of the Microbeam Analysis journal that are not available digitally and Will Nachlas and Nicholas Ritchie respond:

Max Gavrilenko posts his new paper on correction of secondary boundary fluorescence effects for hemispherical olivine grains:

John Donovan discusses some recent modifications in the "alternative" z-bar calculations in the Standard application:

Mike Jercinovic asks for advice on buying a 'decent" carbon coater:

John Donovan posts about a tweak to the Locock amphibole output in Probe for EPMA that can now handle duplicate elements in aggregate mode when exporting to Excel:

Probeman posts an example of a color palette worse than the "rainbow":

Julien Allaz asked ChatGPT what it thinks about Probe for EPMA:

Dawncruth asked if both faraday currents measured in PFE could be displayed in the Analyze! window, so check if her wish was granted:

JonF asked for code to create GRD files as used by Surfer and CalcImage and Probeman replied:

Julien Allaz and Stefan Pitch asked if would be possible to implement a correction for sulfur as an anion and have the oxygen equivalent subtracted during the matrix correction and John Donovan responds:

The latest Probe Image now automatically preserves the image center when the user switches from centered x-ray maps mode to 2 point x-ray map mode and also handles when the number of pixels does not divide equally into the X and Y stage dimensions:

Anette vonder Handt posts some warnings about JEOL bi-directional mapping makes some other map processing requests which we are working on:

One of Probeman's favorite Youtube channels:

Miss_Boron asks and JonF responds to problems with a carbon coater:

Ben Buse asks about new compounds for boundary fluorescence modeling and values for oscillator strength and energy:

Rom asks about the ROM peaking method in Probe for EPMA:

Rom asks general questions about using duplicate elements in PFE:

Ara asks for help on her Noran EDS system and Steve Seddio responds:

Nicholas Ritchie posts about the upcoming Lehigh microscopy courses:

Rom is struggling with trying to measure the Fe content in some Fe2O3 standards using an Fe metal primary standard and not getting what he expects. John Donovan has some suggestions, but can anyone else help him? Has anyone else tried this measurement and gotten reasonable results?

New mineral:

Dominik wants to create an on-line resource of EPMA (and SEM) software tools, and would like to have discussions with others who have similar interests:

Probeman discusses the differences between absorption edges and "negative peaks" in WDS spectra:
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2023, 07:52:45 PM »
We sent this spring newsletter out a month or so ago, but we got distracted by M&M, so here it is:

Hi all,

Sorry for the lateness of this newsletter but the Probe Software user forum has been really busy this spring season, with over 20 new topics and over 172 new posts and 31 new members since April 1st (to June 1st). The forum totals currently stand at 1125 Posts in 1304 Topics by 772 Members... here are some recent highlights.

Rom posted this issue originally in march with him trying to analyze Fe oxides using Fe metal and found that although he could get good results for FeS2, he was always a percent or so (relative) low on hematite. Probeman was able to confirm this using magnetite, and while JonF and SEM-geologist all chimed in, the best guess is that there is some subtle peak shift from the metal to the oxides (but not for the sulfide apparently!):

Probeman posts a slide from his China presentation showing *worst* practices in EPMA (please be shocked- very shocked):

SEM-geologist chimes and and Probeman followed up with some "best" practices for standard selection:

Crystalgrower mentions that some documentation from Alfa-Aesar is disappearing:

Heather Lowers requested a new feature to split multiple point samples into separate samples for off-line processing (and her wish was granted!):

Probeman mentions a relatively recent collection of geological essays by John McPhee that he recently enjoyed:

JonF asks a question about controlling the Faraday cup using a Remote script and John Donovan responds:

Related to Heather Lowers' request to split multiple point samples into separate samples, John Donovan also released a new feature to allow for selected points to be saved to a separate sample (for further processing):

Anette von der Handt requested an export feature to export XMapTools formatted import files and we added that feature:

Note that maps quantified using the XMapTools calibration curve may not be totally accurate due to extrapolations to different phases and also will not correct for spectral interference or beam sensitive sample effects.  But this feature will allow fully quantified maps from CalcImage to take advantage of the advanced petrological tools in the XMapTools software.

John Donovan posted a nice animated GIF showing how important the quantitative spectral interference correction in Probe for EPMA (for points) and in CalcImage (for maps) can be:

Probeman announces a recent publication describing a new method for dead time calibrations and a new non-linear correction for dead time on WDS instruments and SEM-geologist chimes in with congratulations:

We hope you all will read this important paper and perform these calibrations on your instruments. It's actually very easy. For those who already have the Probe for EPMA software there is also a new menu item under the Help menu with a pdf describing exactly how to perform this calibration using the automation tools in Probe for EPMA, but it's easy to do even on instruments without Probe for EPMA.

The Count Times dialog in Probe for EPMA now displays the current FaradayWaitIn and FaradayWaitOut times for easier adjustment of these parameters in the Probewin.ini file. On some newer JEOL instruments these delay times can be as long as 2 or 3 seconds in order to get an accurate Faraday cup measurement:

A discussion here on the stability of the REE pentaphosphates by several forum members:

JonF requests that we allow dead time constants in the Probewin.ini file to be decreased close to zero. Why? Because he's reading SXES data into Probe for EPMA and CalcImage!   What a guy...

And, yeah, we allowed it!

Crystalgrower comments on issues with obtaining sufficient quantities of synthetic minerals for use as global microanalysis standards and Probeman responds:

John Donovan posts his PowerPoint file from his China EPMA workshop presentation followed by a post with a link to the video of the full talk:

Dawncruth had some questions on the "selective" quick standards feature in probe for EPMA and John Donovan responded:

John Donovan announces the latest version (1.4.1) of the Probe Image x-ray map acquisition software:

This version includes a number of cool new improvements, among them the ability to automatically acquire replicate acquisitions for TDI correction of maps on beam sensitive samples (this means that the _TDI conversion step in CalcImage can be skipped). And yes, we are extremely pleased to have Aurelien Moy now as the lead developer for this software.

BenjaminWade had some questions about the MultiPoint Background (MPB) method and these were answered by Anette von der Handt and John Donovan:

Anette von der Handt adds some really cool tips and tricks for using Probe for EPMA automation, starting with custom standard lists:

Also duplicating standard positions as unknowns or wavescans:

And how to manually update/shift digitized positions in the Automate! window:

More tips and tricks follows from John Donovan and Anette von der Handt these...

Anette von der Handt also started a "tips and tricks" topic for the JEOL PC-EPMA software:

Probeman and SEM-Geologist wonder about some claims of the Oxford WDS spectrometers:

Anette von der Handt discusses some observations regarding the JEOL "Free Shape" mapping feature:

Anette asks about modeling inclined grain boundaries and Nicholas Ritchie responded though it's not clear if a script was shared:

Probing had a question about the Pouchou & Pichior XMAC software for determining empirical mass absorption coefficients:

Probeman asked and Karsten Goemann responded to a question about using SiOI2 glass as a zero blank standard for trace elements in quartz:

Julien Allaz posted links to an excellent presentation on quantitative x-ray mapping that he did for his research group:

Highly recommended...

SEM-Geologist asks about Cameca diffusion pumps and Probeman and JonF responded:

Jtmitchell asks about saving images with analyzed point position displayed when running Probe for EPMA in "off-line" mode:

Finally we updated our Customer List webpage as we had somehow forgotten Julien Allaz's Probe for EPMA installation at ETH Zurich:

If you have Probe for EPMA, please check your lab listing in our Customer List page and make sure the link to your lab page is correct and up to date. Thanks and we hope to see you all at M&M later this month!
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2023, 12:08:25 PM »
Here is the summer newsletter that got sent out about a week ago:

Hi all,

Here's the summer 2023 Probe Software user forum newsletter close to on time (for a change)! 

It has been busy this summer, with over 24 new topics and over 144 new posts since July 1st (to September 1st). The forum totals currently stand at 11243 Posts in 13025 Topics by 777 Members... here are some recent highlights.

Probeman asks about actinide analysis of Pu and Philipp Poeml, Nicholas Ritchie and JonF respond:

Probeman also asks: why is a k-ratio called a "k" ratio (must be a slow day at the lab):

Radek_MM offers an Excel spreadsheet for coordinate conversion:

John Donovan asks if anyone is interested in offering a short course in "Best Practices in EPMA" at M&M next year:

Probeman posts a link to the new Average Z for Continuum and backscatter productions paper by Donovan et al. which was published this summer, and John Donovan comments in a subsequent post:

John Donovan comments on a new parameter for JEOL EDS systems to allow one to acquire high resolution SE/BSE images on the 8230/8530 JEOL EPMA instruments in Probe for EPMA:

Aurelien Moy posts a short derivation of how probabilities are calculated in the new average Z paper for compounds:

John Donovan shows a few new options for image display in PictureSnapApp (our free sample navigation software) as requested by Anette von der Handt:

Rom asks about post scan peak confirmation in Probe for EPMA:

Dave C asks about buying a new carbon coater and jon_wade and Karsten Goemann respond:

Ben Buse asks if anyone has tried ScienceOpen:

Heather Lowers asks if we can add new functions for combining lines from samples into a new sample and John Donovan responds:

Ben Buse asks about Lithium analysis:

Ben Buse and Probeman discuss some aspects of MAN backgrounds:

Anette von der Handt points out some color palette options for the JEOL software:

Anette von der Handt is this year's Heinrich award winner:

John Donovan starts a new "Probe for EPMA Tips and tricks" topic:

Please feel free to add your own tips and tricks that that don't fall into this tips and tricks for quant topic:

Probeman asks about mapping absorbed current:

Scott B. posts a new paper on Cl and Br quant mapping. Very nice!

John Donovan posts about an updated PFE citations list:

John Donovan discusses a new feature that allows one to define "effective" takeoff angles for spectrometer/crystal combinations where there a asymmetrical Bragg diffraction:

Better than having to replace your Bragg crystal and still obtain fully quantitative results!

John Donovan posts about new support for editing atomic weights in Standard and Probe for EPMA:

Ben Buse asks if anyone has measured Cu in some glass standards:

Ben Buse has some Oxford Aztec questions:

GarnetSnowball has questions about high and low totals and Probeman tries to help:

Ben Buse asks about gridding random quant points and plotting as a contour plot and Probeman and John Donovan both respond:

jlmaner87 asks about H-type crystals and Probeman responds:

John Donovan posts about performing secondary boundary fluorescence corrections in Probe for EPMA:

New features for the MAN background modeling feature:

John Donovan reports on improvements to the new Donovan and Moy (DAM) backscatter correction:

SteveSeddio asks about standards from a company "From Micro to Nano" and several respond:

sem-geologist starts a new topic on diffusion pimps and vacuum gauges:

A new dialog in CalcZAF for calculating k-ratios as a function of take off angle. This dialog can be utilized to attempt to determine one "effective" take off angles for ones various spectrometers and Bragg crystals:

And Barbara Donovan announces a new webinar in Oct (18th) during which various experts in the field will be demonstrating the various features and methods in the Probe Software application live on Zoom:
« Last Edit: October 05, 2023, 01:13:49 PM by John Donovan »
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2024, 02:12:39 PM »
Our Fall 2023 Newsletter that went out a little over a week ago:

Here's the fall 2023 Probe Software user forum newsletter (only a couple of weeks late!).

It has been fairly busy this last fall, with over 26 new topics and over 211 new posts in the last three months of 2023. The forum totals currently stand at 11468 Posts in 1350 Topics by 796 Members... here are some recent highlights:

Working with Mike Matthews and others we modified the STRATAGem/BadgerFilm output dialog to make it more intuitive for re-processing of thin film compositional data:

Probeman continues his quest investigating the effective takeoff angles of both WDS and EDS spectrometers, this time looking at Ti Ka in SrTiO3 and RbTiOPO4 relative to TiO2:

A poll was created asking about image (beam scanning to stage coordinate) calibrations in Probe for EPMA and CalcImage:

A summary of the various image calibration methods is also provided. Probeman tries again looking at effective takeoff angles looking at Si Ka on PET and EDS:

Nico Vanhove asks about the MAC values contained in the USERMAC data files. These files contain MAC values for many actinide elements and was compiled by Karen Wright and Philipp Poeml:

Probeman posts another "Explain This if You Can!" challenge:

An in depth discussion of the JEOL backlash (jog) parameters for JEOL instruments:

Note that this backlash code has been improved recently, so you should update your Probe for EPMA software to avoid problems when an emission peak is very close to the lower spectrometer limit. 

This fall we started a YouTube channel for hosting tutorials on using Probe Software EPMA (and PictureSnapApp) applications:

Currently we have 17 tutorial videos uploaded to our Probe Software YouTube channel:

Do you have any topics you would like to see covered by additional tutorials?  Please comment on the YouTube channel!

Here's a tip on how to perform TDI (time dependent intensity) corrections for beam sensitive samples with more than 5 elements:

Andrew Locock and John Donovan discuss...  Jtmitchell asks for carbon coater suggestions:

Dave Adams asks if anyone has advice for replacing the spectrometer drive wire on his JEOL WDS spectrometers:

Probeman adds some clarification on the "Load Standard Intensity From Database to Current Run" button in the Element Setup database dialog:

Jens Andersen asks about correcting for different carbon coating thicknesses on samples:

Rom asks about carbon coating coverage when using sputter coating devices:

A discussion about carbon coaters by Dominique, Peter Horvath, Probeman, Rom, David Adams, Anette von der Handt, Doug Meir and Sem-geologist:

Dirk Mueller asks about software to perform mineral identification and Anette von der Handt, Sem-geologist and Probeman respond:

GarnetSnowball asks for advice on trace element analysis and Probeman responds:

Dominik asks about low energy interferences on transition metal L lines and Probeman responds:

Rom asks about diamond polish and Mike Matthews and Probeman respond:

John Donovan reports a serious bug in the Thermo pathfinder Portal API for obtaining net intensities:

Thermo should fix this bug, as they still sell Pathfinder systems...

We ran a poll on what are your favorite features in Probe for EPMA:

Have you voted yet?  Well you should!  Ben Buse has some questions regarding his Oxford Aztec EDS system:

Valentina Batanova asks about using samples embedded in Teflon in EPMA instruments.  Do you have any advice for her?

Scott B. asks about using "Digitized Conditions" from the Automate! window in Probe for EPMA:

Probeman provides an example of how ones PHA settings should be adjusted when acquiring WDS intensities over a large range of beam currents (count rates):

Anenburg responded to Crystalgrower's questions on the REE pentaphosphates and Probeman responds regarding the Pb contamination:

Sem-geologist mentions an article on how to build a BSE detector:

PictureSnapApp now includes a method to import stage coordinates from a text file for calibrated display on any image:

Owen Neil posts an invitation for abstracts on Light Element quantification at M&M in Cleveland this summer:

Scott B. asks where the values for min/max analytical totals can be edited and John Donovan explains (note that the pop up help now explains this better):

Probeman demonstrates significant improvement in quantitative analysis using the new Z based DAM backscatter correction by Donovan and Moy:

If you are analyzing compounds containing elements with large differences in A/Z ratios, this correction is for you.

Remember, you can always get a list of the most recent posts on the Probe Software EPMA user forum by clicking the link: "View the most recent posts on the forum" which is found near the bottom of the main forum page!

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2024, 01:33:13 PM »
Here is our Winter 2023-2024 newsletter that went out about 10 days ago...

Here's the winter 2023-2024 Probe Software user forum newsletter (only a couple of weeks late!).

It has been fairly busy this last winter, with over 29 new topics and over 234 new posts in the fist three months of 2024. The forum totals currently stand at 11695 Posts in 1372 Topics by 811 Members... here are some recent highlights:

Dawncruth asks how do Faraday cup delays affect the extrapolation of TDI trends to zero time (when the Faraday cup actually is removed?

John Donovan answers and Sem-geologist chimes in also with some other questions and suggestions.

Rom asks for help with unstable detector counts on his old JEOL 8200 and JonF, Probeman and Anette von der Handt respond with suggestions:

Andrew Locock asks about magnetic specimens and Probeman asks a question:

Amedeo asks about the Kanaya-Okayama expression and Probeman responds:

Dawncruth wishes for several new features and John Donovan grants a couple of her wishes (and explains some alternative approaches for the others):

Sem-geologist brings the Duane-Hunt limit topic to which Probeman, chenderson and Nicholas Ritchie respond:

This discussion goes on for several pages and illustrates some difficulties with using the Duane-Hunt limit to determine the electron beam energy. It may be that Nicholas Ritchie's suggestion to instead measure net intensities of a characteristic line with small steps of overvoltage might be a less problematic method. For example, we could measure the Ti Ka emission (K edge of 4.96 keV), at beam energies of 5.0 keV, 5.1 keV, 5.2 keV, etc., etc. and extrapolate to the zero intensity intercept of the x-axis...

This topic will be explored further at M&M 2024 in Cleveland this summer.

JonF asks about how to create custom .FC palettes for use by CalcImage and Probeman responds:

Barbara Donovan announces the Probe Software January 2024 applications webinar with Anette von der Handt and Julien Allaz presenting high accuracy, high precision EPMA :

Barbara Donovan announces the Probe Software March 2024 applications webinar with Anette von der Handt and John Donovan presenting Time Dependent Intensity corrections (TDI) and Quantitative X-ray Mapping:

You can watch the full videos here on our YouTube channel:

Probing asks how she can utilize the constant k-ratio method to determine her dead time constants without Probe for EPMA and Probeman responds with some helpful suggestions for how to run these dead time calibrations on any instrument with any software:

Ben Buse asks about the epsilon value used in the Alicona Mex software:

JonF posts in the Tips and Tricks for PFE quant and provides a very nice explanation for dealing with unanalyzed elements in the matrix corrections:

Radek_MM wishes for a new feature to allow one to simply "right-click" on a bias scan plot to update the PHA bias value in Probe for EPMA and John Donovan grants his wish and even implements the same feature for gain scans in Cameca instruments (what a guy!):

Andrew Locock brings up a valid point about statistics in heterogeneous x-ray maps and Probe man responds with an example showing that the standard error is the best approach:

Remember, we should not average x-ray intensities (defocused beam analysis is not accurate) to obtain an average composition, instead we must average concentrations.

Anenburg asks about cathodoluminescent materials and crystalgrower responds:

John Donovan posts a tip on using the search function in the user forum:

Mwloewen asks whether a test for regression significance could be implemented dynamically in Probe for EPMA and we are still thinking how it could be implemented:

Probeman posts about the new DAM (Donovan and Moy) backscatter correction in CalcZAF and Probe for EPMA which seems to provide more accurate results for materials with different A/Z ratios:

And just to show everyone that sometimes interesting observations are lost over time here's a paper from 1913 that is a must read:

Scott B. and Dave Adams discuss some JEOL spectrometer maintenance issues:

Dave Adams also asks about JEOL FEG problems and Anette chimes in:

Science humor and leap (light) years:

John Donovan reminds those using the Thermo Pathfinder software to update to the latest Pathfinder version and make sure the ThermoNSSVersionNUmber keyword in the probewin.ini file is correct:

Jarrod Crum asks a great question on tracking instrument drift on long runs and John Donovan responds:

Nicholas Ricthie responds to an apparently overlooked question on what in EDS hardware determines different energy resolutions for the same chip size and jensrafaelsen also responds:

JonF asks about ways to create multiple setups for different minerals in a single automated run, some which may share elements and some which may not and John Donovan responds:

Ben Buse asks if anyone has used the JEOL thin film analysis program xm-27470thin and no one has responded as yet:

John Donovan posted pdfs of his presentations at the Athens 2024 EPMA Workshop:

Anette wishes there was a way to export stage positions from Probe for EPMA to the PictureSnapApp point annotation import format, and her wish was granted (finally!):

Nathan C. asks why in the latest Probe for EPMA the maximum beam diameter is limited to 50 um and John Donovan explains:

Ben Buse has a question about modeling thin films in BadgerFilm which I'm sure Aurelien will respond to as soon as he finishes moving and starts his new job:

Someone pointed out to us that JEOL lists integration with Probe for EPMA on their iHP200F website:

Probeman posts some references explaining some problems with using DBA (defocused beam analysis) for attempting to obtain an average composition in a heterogeneous material:

Short answer: you can't!

Joe Boesenberg asks how one can obtain a "negative" concentration boundary fluoroescence artifact as described in the paper by Llovet et al. (2023) and Probeman explains this quite unintuitive phenomena:

We added 5 presentation videos from the Athens 2024 EPMA Workshop last week by Anette von der Handt and John Donovan to our Probe Software YouTube channel (with permission from Ioannis Baziotis):

John Fournelle asks how to create an empirical PHA calibration file (EMPPHA.DAT) for Probe for EPMA and Probeman referred him to some posts by Ben Buse:

Probeman points out that the secondary boundary fluorescence correction in CalcZAF is now implemented in Probe for EPMA and much easier to use:

However, we are still trying to implement a Bragg defocus correction, so if your modeling demonstrates an SF boundary issue, try to orient your phase boundary pointing towards your spectrometer. In this way, the Bragg defocus will be close to zero as one moves away from the boundary.

John Donovan answers a question about comparing matrix corrections for silicate compositions:

John Donovan grants Anette's wish for a way to export stage positions from Probe for EPMA into PictureSnapApp:
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Re: Probe Software Forum Newsletters
« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2024, 05:07:07 PM »
Here's the Spring 2024 newsletter that went out about a week ago in case anyone missed it:

We're having a nice spring here in Oregon this year.  Hope you are as well.

Here is the latest Probe Software User Forum Spring newsletter.  The Probe Software user forum continues to be busy this spring with 20 new topics, 222 new posts and 27 new members since March 1. The forum totals currently stand at 11849 posts in 1389 topics by 830 members. Here are a few highlights from the last few months.

JonF posted new virdis, plasma, magma and cividis color palettes to the forum for both CalcImage and the JEOL NMap Viewer:

John Donovan posts about some alternative output methods for the TDI data and parameters when the sample cannot be quantified, e.g., no standard samples:

Probeman posts some schematic drawings to explain the difference for changes in precision for the Duane-Hunt continuum "photon cliff" artifact, comparing experimental photon acquisition (counting photons) and modeling continuum emission using Monte Carlo where the x-ray intensities are normalized to the electron dose:

John Donovan and Anette von der Handt shared their pdf and video presentations given at the Athens 2024 workshop:

SCGene asked and Probeman responded about how to make standard mounts using many holes drilled in an acrylic round mount:

Steve Seddio asks if anyone is willing to share their PathFinder match database of minerals (especially those with "heavy" minerals) with him:

Maybe he got what he needed?

Probeman posts about 2/3 "coincidences" in physics:

John Donovan provides some additional explanation regarding the "Run Multiple Samples One at a Time" method in Probe for EPMA:

EPMA_Gremlin asks if any one knows of a source for synthetic Fe3P:

John Donovan posts about the latest version of PictureSnapApp and note that it can be updated for free using the Help menu:

Probeman posts about making high accuracy over voltage measurements just above the absorption edge energy of an element for determining one's electron beam energy accuracy:

John Donovan posts that the recent Probe Software May Webinar videos by himself and Anette on trace elements and PictureSnap/PictureSnapApp are available for viewing on the Probe Software YouTube channel:

Probeman note problems in trace element analyses when one "zeros" negative intensities/concentrations:

Sem-geologist asks for some information on the weight of various components of his SX100 and SXFive instrument for the purposes of moving them to a new location:

Mjpavel asks about determining thicknesses of SiO2 on SiC using the multi-voltage method using STRATAGem or BadgerFilm and Probeman and Ben Buse respond:

John Donovan mentions that one can now export analytical point stage positions from Probe for EPMA in various formats for importing into PictureSnapApp:

John Donovan also posts that one can now import .EMSA (and .MSA) spectrum files from Oxford, JEOL, Bruker and Thermo EDS systems (and Probe for EPMA) into the Standard composition database for documentation purposes as requested by Dave Adams:

Anette von der Handt asks how to specify different backgrounds for standard and unknown samples and Probeman responds:

Anette also asks how to "average" multi=-point background (MPB) intensities and Probeman responds again (my, isn't he a busy guy!):

John Donovan shows a new button in PictureSnapApp that allows one to import a sample position calibration from another PictureSnapApp[ project for getting a "rough" sample position/rotation calibration:

Which can then be refined further using the Move To buttons. Technically the button was already there, but it didn't work for three point calibrations to compensate for sample rotation... that is now fixed!

Philipp Poeml asks (and JonF chimes in as well) for a new feature in CalcImage so one can utilize multi-point background *maps* for background correction. Yeah it sounds crazy, but using the MPB method in the "shared" mode where one utilizes two position off-peak backgrounds when more than one element is acquired on a single spectrometer/crystal, this feature would allow one to acquire just a few background maps for many elements.

All we can say is that feature has been implemented and it is amazingly cool, but is still in beta testing.  If you are interesting in testing this new background correction method for your quantitative maps, please contact John Donovan directly at Probe Software.

Ben Buse asks if anyone knows what the actual EDS pulse processing time is for the T1 to T4 options:

No one has answered yet, so if you know, please post on the forum...

Facundo Bilbao asks about performing sub micron stage point analyses:

Probeman and sem-geologist respond...

Facundo Bilbao also asks about the .PAR files used for calculating secondary boundary fluorescence effects across phases boundaries and Probeman and John Donovan respond:

John Donovan asks Grok some questions about EPMA and it responds mentioning among other things that one should use "advanced software tools" such as those from Probe Software:

Hey, that's just what it said...  🙂

Nathan C. asks about "low probe current" warnings that he is getting:

UofO EPMA Lab responds with some suggestions.

John Donovan posts a poll on whether one uses the manual image image menus in CalcImage:

Have you voted?  Login to vote and see the results...

Facundo Bilbao asks about the minimum stage movement on a Cameca EPMA:

Nicholas Ritchie posts about an article with some pretty SEM images in a special edition of Nature:

Jens Andersen asks if anyone has monitored their mains voltage and JonF responds with another question:

Probeman posts a pdf of a very early paper on quantitative mapping (from 1982!). It's worth a read:

Ben Buse asks how the errors in BadgerFilm are calculated and no one has responded yet (Aurelien?):

Anette asks for more information when the PFE software finds that the stored standard compositions don't exactly match the standard composition in the standard database and pops up a warning:

This has been implemented and we hope to upload this new version soon. By the way this new version has several other very exciting new feature (one mentioned above ) shared MPB backgrounhds in CalcImage and a new feature requested by Julien ALlaz which implements a method to calculated elements by difference, formula difference, stoichiometry to stoichiometric oxygen, stoichiometry to another element and also calculate excess oxygen from ferric iron, based on dynamic k-ratio criteria of the analyzed elements.

Cool, right?  Sounds complicated, right?  But actually very easy to use. Again, if you would like to test this new feature please contact John Donovan directly at Probe Software.

Probeman asks if anyone has literature references for mitigating TDI/volatile effects using a moving beam or cryo stage:

No one has responded yet but I know he would be very grateful if someone did!

The Probe Software Users Forum Team.
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
(541) 343-3400

"Not Absolutely Certain, Yet Reliable"