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3D Atom Probe and NanoSIMS to support minerals & energy research in Australia
CAMECAThe new Advanced Resource Characterisation Facility (ARCF) in Perth, a partnership between Curtin University, The University of Western Australia and Australia's national science agency CSIRO* recently selected two CAMECA instruments to equip their labs: the LEAP 4000X HR 3D Atom Probe and the NanoSIMS 50L Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer will solve a wide range of mineral exploration-related problems, support future exploration and optimize the production from known deposits.

The new Characterization Facility has received funds from the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) for this new acquisition, which will position Perth as a global centre for minerals and energy research, doubling its capacity to find new mineral ore deposits. The SIEF grant will support the installation of three new pieces of equipment: the NanoSIMS 50L to be located at UWA, the 3D Atom Probe at Curtin, as well as a Maia Mapper at CSIRO.

Atom Probe Tomography (APT) which has been historically successful in characterizing metals, semiconductors and more recently oxides, now proves capable of delivering subnanometer chemical analysis of trace elements in minerals. With the LEAP, Australian researchers will therefore benefit from a revolutionary equipement allowing them to obtain a three-dimensional picture of atom distribution in very small volumes of natural ore deposits. The Curtin LEAP will be the first Atom Probe instrument in the world dedicated to the analysis of mineral and geological materials!

The NanoSIMS 50L ion probe provides sub-micron resolution isotopic and elemental measurements of deep areas, grains or inclusions from mineral sections and already has a long record in supporting leading geological & mineralogical studies. It has been cited dozens of times in scientific journals such as Nature or Science. Two CAMECA ion mass spectrometers are already in operation at UWA and used for research in the mining and resource industry along with a range of other applications in environmental and life sciences. Having a third SIMS will greatly enhance UWA's ability to generate results for the minerals and energy sector.

“Curtin has a great track record in minerals and energy sciences and this newly announced investment will definitely build on Western Australia’s capability to undertake industry-relevant science and innovation, providing a bright future for the sector and our graduates.” said Curtin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Development Professor Graeme Wright.

*Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

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