Claire E. Bucholz
The Bucholz Lab houses an XRF facility for the major and trace element analysis of geologic materials. The sample preparation lab include a Retsch planetary ball mill equipped with both agate and tungsten carbide grinding containers for powdering whole rock samples and a Claise Eagon 2 fluxer for fusing the powders into glass beads using lithium tetraborate as a flux. In addition, the lab contains a hydraulic press for making pressed powdered pellets. Glass pills and pressed pellets are analyzed using a 4 kW Zetium Panalytical X-ray fluorescence analyzer equipped with 6 analyzing crystals, a wavelength dispersive spectrometer, automated sample handler, and an integrated software system. Whole-rock analyses for major elements (Si, Ti, Al, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ca, Na, K, P) and a number of trace elements (Sc, V, Ni, Cr, Ba, Rb, Sr, Zr, Y, Nb, Cu, Zn, Ga, Pb, La, Ce, Th, Nd, U) is routine. Calibration lines for elements are developed using the standards from the United States Geologic Survey, NIST, Geological Survey of Japan, and SARM standards.
The XRF lab is open to both Caltech and outside users. Users prepare and analyze their own samples under the supervision of Bucholz lab members. Currently, standard calibrations are available for the analysis of silicate and carbonate rocks. If interested in using these facilities, please contact Claire Bucholz for details about scheduling and pricing.