MRI: Acquisition of a Scanning Electron Microscope for Geoscience, Forensic Chemistry and Science Education Research Grant

MRI: Acquisition of a Scanning Electron Microscope for Geoscience, Forensic Chemistry and Science Education Research .


  • Florida International University will acquire a Scanning Electron Microscope and accessory detectors for research and undergraduate education in Geosciences, Forensic Chemistry and Science Education. Geoscience research projects include study of volcanic processes and the identification of the origin of volcanic ash layers and other volcanic particles in nearby marine sediments, microfossils as preservers of paleoclimate indicators, and geochemistry of minerals in Andean ore deposits for identifying the source of metals in anthropological artifacts. The proposed instrument will be used for a wide range of research applications in Forensic Chemistry through analysis of materials such as gunshot residue, glass, adhesive tape, soil, and ink. The instrument will continue a long-standing partnership between geoscience and chemistry in sharing analytical instruments and it will accommodate remote users in an NSF project to explore the impact of remote instrument operation on undergraduate teaching and learning.This project will enable Florida International University to acquire an SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) with EDS (energy dispersive X-ray), XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) and CL (Cathodoluminescence) capabilities. The proposed instrument will support Geoscience research in the areas of volcanology and igneous geochemistry, paleontology and stratigraphy, and ore geochemistry and geoarchaeology, and Forensic Chemistry research on a wide array of forensic materials (glass, paint, textiles). The common theme of this research is the application of microbeam instruments with diverse capabilities for investigation of the concentrations and spatial distribution of major and trace elements in geologic and forensic materials. Advancement of knowledge in these fields will be supported by shared expertise and the versatile capabilities of the SEM acquisition together with other available instrumentation. Knowledge will also be advanced in the understanding of student learning, especially the impact of using major instrumentation made possible through remote operation.

date/time interval

  • September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2019

administered by

sponsor award ID

  • 1726727