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Assessing Precision and Accuracy in Electron Probe Microanalysis

EPMA QA sample suite
Figure 1: A suite of test materials.
EPMA QA ADM6 Spectral Coverage
Figure 2: Spectral coverage of ADM6 research glass compared to other NIST SRM microanalysis materials.

The purpose of this project is to develop quality assurance (QA) methods for electron probe microanalysers (EPMA). Analytical laboratory QA programs help guarantee that the analysis results obtained by participating laboratories will be correct within expected tolerance limits and consistent. Tracking instrument performance at regularly scheduled intervals can alert the operator to subtle changes in instrument performance over time and indicate a need for instrument service or calibration. QA procedures can be applied to a single instrument, multiple instruments in a single laboratory, or to multiple instruments managed by different operators in separate laboratories.


D.C. Meier, J.M. Davis, J.R. Anderson


commercial and government analytical laboratories

major accomplishments

Development of two generations of research-glass test materials and test procedures.

ISO19463 – “Microbeam Analysis – Electron probe microanalyzer [EPMA] – guidelines for performing quality assurance procedures.”

Related Publications

D.C. Meier, E.S. Windsor, J.M. Davis, R.B. Marinenko, “Standards Methods and Reference Materials for Performing a Complete EPMA WDS Instrument Diagnostic,” Microscopy and Microanalysis, 21 (Suppl 3), 2015, 2237. 

D.C. Meier, J.M. Davis, R.B. Marinenko, F. Meisenkothen, S.A.Wight, “EPMA WDS Quality Assurance: Materials and Methods,” Microscopy and Microanalysis, 20 (Suppl 3), 2014, 732-733. 

D.C. Meier, J.M. Davis, J.R. Anderson, S.A. Wight, “A Model Unknown Glass Engineered for EPMA WDS Quality Assurance,” Microscopy and Microanalysis, 19 (Suppl 2), 2013, 1294-1295. 

Created February 15, 2018, Updated November 15, 2019