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A Focused Interest Group (FIG) is a group of Microscopy Society of America (MSA) members who have organized to promote a specific discipline relevant to microscopy or microanalysis (official page).
The Focused Interest Group on MicroAnalytical Standards (FIGMAS) aims to catalog and to create new standards and reference materials (S-RM) to be used by microanalysts (EPMA, SEM, LA-ICP-MS...). It is the first group to have been created and approved with support of both the MicroAnalysis Society (MAS) and MSA. FIGMAS is open to members from the following societies:
It has been recognized over past years that different electron microprobe (EPMA) and scanning electron microprobe (SEM) laboratories each use different sets of S-RM for compositional analysis. Unfortunately, supplies of some of these S-RM are at or nearing exhaustion, while other S-RM have only been available to a restricted group (e.g., internal reference material). Furthermore, the accuracy of reference compositons and homogeneity of some reference materials has been called into question.
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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 remediate this problem, the Focus Interest Group for MicroAnalytical Standards (FIGMAS) aims to promote and facilitate the creation of a community-wide S-RM collection that supports consistency and inter-laboratory comparison. Part of this effort will be to create a database of the currently available S-RM used in EPMA and SEM laboratories. This database will be used to assess the quality of existing S-RM and the need for additional reference materials for quantitative electron microprobe 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 laser ablation ICP-MS, SHRIMP or SIMS).
This FIG was initially created by...
The request to create this group has been approved by both MAS and MSA councils during the Microscopy and Microanalysis meeting in Portland (OR) in August 2015. Following the M&M 2016 meeting (in Columbus, OH), an electronic ballot for the 2017-2018 FIGMAS committee has resulted in the election of Julien as leader, Anette as leader-elect, and Owen as treasurer.