Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Imaging Tool Expands Research Opportunities

The installation of a Jeol Electron Probe Microanalyzer (EPMA) aims to expand research and educational opportunities for students, faculty and industry in southeastern North Carolina. In January, Jeol completed the installation of its latest EPMA, also known as a microprobe, at the Southeastern North Carolina Regional Microanalytical and Imaging Center (SENCR-MIC).

The state-of-the-art facility opened in 2009 as a joint collaboration between Fayetteville State University (FSU) and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Pembroke. The microprobe enables detailed surface analysis that reveals a lot of information about both hard and soft samples. FSU and UNC students will have access to this electron microscope to advance environmental, geological and forensic science research.

'We'll be able to use it to compare paint chips, analyse soil samples, gunshot residue and micro tool marks,' said Dr Steven Singletary, director of the SENCR-MIC. Singletary sees this resource as benefiting both future careers and the future of the region in southeastern North Carolina. Research at this level is an opportunity for students who typically hold down jobs while attending school and have responsibilities that would prevent them from obtaining this type of training away from home.

Singletary and his fellow faculty members are hopeful that access to this instrumentation will produce a more highly trained workforce, which will in turn attract more businesses to the area. The SENCR-MIC will be a resource for both Fayetteville State University and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Additionally, local industry and government will have access to the facility for research.

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