Focused Interest Group on MicroAnalytical Standards (FIGMAS)


WHAT? The Focused Interest Group on MicroAnalytical Standards (FIGMAS) aims to evaluate and catalogue microanalytical standards and reference materials (S-RM) and to facilitate accessibility of these materials to the microanalysis community (EPMA, SEM, LA-ICP-MS...). It is the first group to have been created and approved with the joint support of both MSA and the Microanalysis Society (MAS).

WHY? It has been recognized that different electron microprobe (EPMA) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) laboratories each use different sets of standards and reference materials (S-RM) for compositional analysis. Supplies of some of these S-RM are at or nearing exhaustion, while other S-RM have only been available to a small subset of the community. Furthermore, the homogeneity and accuracy of the reported compositions of some S-RM has been called into question. With modern technological advancements in methodology and instrumentation for high precision quantitative analysis, it is essential to work towards a community consensus for selection of optimal S-RM.

HOW? The microprobe community needs a better assessment of the availability and quality of S-RM, along with the determination of the need for new S-RM. To address this demand, the Focus Interest Group for MicroAnalytical Standards (FIGMAS) works to promote and facilitate the creation of a community-wide S-RM collection that supports consistency and inter-laboratory comparison. Part of this effort is to curate a database of the currently available S-RM used in EPMA and SEM laboratories. This database will be used to help assess the quality of existing S-RM, as well as the need for additional materials for quantitative analyses by energy- and wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. In the future, this database could be extended and cross-referenced to other S-RM databases already available for other analytical techniques (e.g., GEOREM for LA-ICP-MS, SHRIMP or SIMS).


Will Nachlas (Leader; University of Wisconsin, USA)
Emma Bullock (Leader-elect; Carnegie Institution, USA)
Owen K. Neill (Secretary-Treasurer; University of Michigan, USA)

Become a Member

Annual dues are $15 and can be paid at MSA or MAS membership renewal, when you join one or both societies, or through your membership portal for existing members.