Protocols

General information & procedures

  • For all new projects/service requests, we appreciate the opportunity to meet with you — whether in person, by phone, or by Zoom — to discuss your needs, limitations, timelines, and budget. Consultation is always free!

  • Upon request, we can provide an informal estimate following the above discussion of your research needs. Please be aware, however, that these are only estimates — without getting your samples in either of these scopes, the total work involved may be different than estimated.

  • You are welcome to join us in the lab to observe and assist with your project, but we are a service facility and thus do not offer unassisted/unsupervised instrumentation time.

  • We are trained geologists/paleontologists — as such, we try to avoid offering detailed interpretations of any data outside of geological materials. However, we are happy to lend our expertise in these instruments and the data they produce to help you with your interpretations.

Publication protocols

  • For all publications resulting from data collected at our facility, please acknowledge the MU X-ray Microanalysis Laboratory.

  • While we welcome authorship on posters, presentations, and manuscripts, we can only accept authorship offers following review of the abstract/publication. As a professional courtesy, please allow adequate time for us to review prior to submission.

Analytical notes

  • SEM: We can analyze a wide range of materials with our SEM, but we cannot process hydrated samples. For such analyses, we would refer you to the Environmental SEM at the Electron Microscopy Core.

  • µCT: We are limited by sample size in the µCT. While we can handle samples that are quite tall, our maximum sample diameter is 55 mm.

  • Samples: If your sample is hazardous, we need to know. We may require that you prepare hazardous samples in specific ways before transporting them to our lab.

  • Sample preparation: We are skilled at numerous preparation techniques, but please be aware that sometimes sample damage does occur. We certainly do our best to avoid such issues, and will discuss any potential concerns we may have with you up-front prior to any preparation.

  • Data transfer: At present, our primary mode of data transfer is via USB drive or cloud storage. We can provide USB drives in-house. If you chose to bring your own drive, we begin by formatting it, which erases all of the data it may currently contain, in an effort to avoid virus/malware infections. Such computer issues would not only impede your work, but the work of all of our other users.