Scanning electron probe microanalyser, 1960.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Peter Duncomb and David Melford built this microanalyser at the Tube Investments Research Laboratories near Cambridge, and formed the prototype of the 'Microscan' X-ray microanalysers produced by the Cambridge Instrument Company. It detects the X-rays emitted from the specimen when an electron beam hits it. The X-ray detector is tuned to the characteristic X-rays from a selected element, and the instrument produces an image showing the location of particles of that element in the specimen.