Development of Electron Microprobe methods for trace element analysis and geochronology applied to monazite, xenotime, thorite, uraninite and zircon. This research involves the development of new technology, in particular, a new electron microprobe (the SX-Ultrachron) which is a one-of-a-kind instrument, optimized for trace element analysis and geochronology (Collaboration with Cameca, Inc. (Paris), and Michael L. Williams at UMass). Hardware and software have been redesigned to improve the precision, spatial resolution, and detection limits of the electron probe. This is a major advance in materials microanalysis, and is providing remarkable insight into the absolute timing and rates of complex tectonic processes. The Ultrachron is the only instrument yet developed that can investigate trace elements and geochronology on the sub-micron scale.
Application of Electron Microprobe methods in geochronology. Collaborative research applied to tectonic histories, in particular, the major processes of continental assembly in Norway, Canada, the North American mid-continent (Lake Superior region to South Dakota, and the southwestern U.S. Other studies include the oldest materials on Earth in Western Australia (inclusions of monazite and xenotime in zircons), the Adirondacks, the Appalachians of Connecticut and Massachusetts, economic thorium deposits in Idaho, the Canadian Cordillera, granitic intrusions in Maine.
Development and application of new methods in the microanalysis of optical fibers and trace elements in geologic materials by EPMA.