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Electron Microprobe Laboratory
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JEOL Probe Users Listserver

Basics of the Listserver

The Probe Users Listserver is a moderated e-mail-based forum, giving electron microprobe users, technicians, and lab managers a way to distribute questions, comments, and news to a list of subscribed individuals. The listserver is focused on JEOL instruments, but general issues regarding microprobes are welcome. We discuss issues relevant to electron microprobe analysis (or electron probe microanalysis, if you prefer) in general and/or JEOL instruments in particular. Whether you use a classic JEOL JXA-733, one of the new field-emission 8500s, or anything in-between, this list is for you! The topics that fit these categories are broad, from electron physics and correction routines to computer hardware and vacuum grease. This is not an official JEOL listserver. See more below.

This is a moderated listserver, meaning that all subscribers are approved by the moderator. Only posts from approved email adresses can pass. This is intented to eliminate or reduce spam and other junk mail from being sent to subscribers. The moderator does not fact-check posts or censor relevant discussions. Off-topic posts or posts that violate the listserver rules will be blocked. See more below.

Vendors and manufacturers are welcome on the list, but unsolicited commercial advertising messages are prohibited. When relevant to a discussion, commercial products can be mentioned and discussed, but financial interests must be disclosed. Announcements of educational short courses are permitted on a limited basis. Listings of open positions are welcome. See more below.

It is free to subscribe to the list, and it is always free to participate. This free service is sponsored by the University of Minnesota and the Electron Microprobe Laboratory. In compliance with US Public Law 108-187 (CANSPAM Act), only subscribers receive posts to the listserver via e-mail. Non-subscribers are allowed to browse the archives. Membership is a privilege, not a right, and an be revoked for violations of the listserver rules. See more below.

How Do I Subscribe?

To subscribe, e-mail the message "SUBSCRIBE PROBEUSERS Your Name" to the address: listserv (at) You will receive an e-mail with instructions to confirm your subscription. The listserver moderator will review and approve/deny your request. E-mail the moderator (Anette von der Handt) with any problems.

To unsubscribe, e-mail the message "SIGNOFF PROBEUSERS" to the address: listserv (at)

Basic Rules and Responsibilities

Basic rules and responsibilities of the Probe User listserver are:

  1. Encourage and promote the free exchange and discussion of information, ideas, and opinions except when the content would (i) violate proprietary rights, personal privacy, or state/federal laws and regulations or (ii) constitute a crime or libel to the listserver, its moderator, users, or any individual/organization.
  2. Use your real name and real e-mail address. Also fully disclose any personal, financial, or commercial interest when evaluating a specific product or service.
  3. Do not use this listserver for delivery of personal mail, advertising, spam, posting resumes, or other similar messages. All messages are sent to the moderator for approval before posting, and these types of messages will be deleted.
  4. This listserver will not be used to accuse or defame any individual or organization. You can certainly disagree with a comment and post a reply, but disparaging comments will not be allowed under any circumstances.
  5. Use of this listserver is not a right, but a privilege. This privilege may be revoked due to rule violations.


The University of Minnesota (UMN) and its Electron Microprobe Laboratory (EML) sponsor this listserver for the benefit of microprobe users worldwide. The UMN, its EML, and the moderator expressly disclaim responsibility for and liabilities resulting from any information or communications from and between users of this listserver. Every user explicitly acknowledges that all information obtained from this listserver is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose and that the entire risk of acting on information obtained from this system, including the entire costs of all necessary remedies, is with those who choose to act on such information and not with the operators of this system or the suppliers of the information.

Listserver Rules and FAQ

What is the purpose of the Probe Users listserver?
The Probe Users Listserver is an e-mail-based discussion forum, giving microprobe users, technicians, and lab managers a way to distribute questions and comments to a list of subscribed individuals. It is a JEOL-focused forum, but all are welcome! Whether you used an old JEOL JXA-5, still have a classic JEOL JXA-733, run one of the new field-emission 8500s, or use anything in-between, this list is for you! This listserver is meant to fill a gap left by the demise of the Microbeam Analysis Society list and for those individual who seek a more targeted audience than the entire Microscopy Society list.

Is the Probe Users listserver officially associated with JEOL?
No, the Probe Users Listserver is based out of the University of Minnesota¹s Electron Microprobe Laboratory, not JEOL, nor is the moderator an employee of JEOL.

What does this list discuss?
This list discusses issues relevant to electron microprobe analysis (or electron probe microanalysis, if you prefer) in general, although there is usually a focus on JEOL instruments in particular. The topics that fit these categories are broad, from electron physics and correction routines to computer hardware and vacuum grease.

Is there a subscription fee?
No, the listserver is a free service, and there are no charges for subscription or use. The costs are incurred by the University of Minnesota and its Electron Microprobe Lab.

Can anyone subscribe?
Yes, anyone can subscribe, but subscribers are first approved by the list moderator to eliminate spam e-mail. An approval request is automatically sent to the moderator when one initially subscribes to the list.

I am a manufacturer or vendor. Can I participate?
Yes! You are welcome to observe/join in any discussion. Please refrain from overt sales pitches; however, if a product which you produce/sell can solve a problem or answer a question raised by anyone on this list, feel free to say so.

Are there e-mail filters?
This listserver operates with a semi-automatic e-mail filter. The University of Minnesota automatically applies its sophisticated spam and junk mail filters to posts. Posts over 50 KB are rejected. Duplicate posts are automatically rejected. All e-mail containing attachments is automatically rejected because attachments are the most common way that computer viruses are transmitted via e-mail. VCF cards and some web-based mail programs will "append" messages that are also "attachments" -- the filter might not differentiate these.

Are there special settings for my e-mail?
1) Please do not set your e-mail program to automatically reply to all messages or to request a return receipt.
2) Please make sure you do not send attachments of any type or your message will be automatically rejected.
3) Please do not set your e-mail program to deliver "out of office" messages. If you must do so, please unsubscribe from the list and subscribe again when you return.
4) You are encouraged to provide your company/university/lab name, e-mail address, and/or website as part of your signoff/signature. Anonymous e-mails might be rejected.

How do I submit/post a message?
Users are asked to send text-only messages. Send your message by e-mail to: You will receive an acknowledgment, and your message will be automatically sent to the list moderator for approval or rejection.

Can I send an e-mail attachment?
No, do not send files as an attachment to the listserver -- your message will be rejected. Users are asked to send text-only messages to avoid hidden attachments.

How do I reply to a message?
Use the REPLY function of your e-mail program, and everyone will receive your reply. If you wish to reply privately to the original poster alone, you must copy and paste their e-mail address into your recipient list.

What can I post?
Any questions, comments, observations, general information, news, or announcements that involve electron microprobe analysis in general and/or JEOL instruments in particular are welcome. Subjects discussed can involve new theories of correction methods, the practical considerations of hardware interfaces, or just about anything in-between. The list is moderated, so the moderator will end a discussion that strays too far off subject.

Can I announce a job opening, short course, or meeting?
Yes, as long as it is related to electron microprobe analysis. Announcements about meetings or short courses are usually permitted from both commercial and non-profit organizations. Remember, though, that the listserver is not intended for advertising, so repeated use of the listserver for advertising will be considered a violation.

Can I post my resume?
No, but you can watch for job announcements.

Can I get a list of the subscribers?
No, that information is kept confidential to reduce unsolicited e-mail.

Who do I contact with problems? Who runs the listserver?
This listserver is moderated by the lab manager.

Contact Us

probelab (at)
Phone: 612-624-7370

Research Applications

With respect to geoscience research, our electron microprobe is often used for igneous, metamorphic, and experimental petrology as well as mineral studies and geochronology. In addition to rocks and minerals, we have conducted analyses of metals and alloys, thin films, ceramics and composites, glass, optical fibers, teeth and bones, and many other natural and artificial materials.

Commercial Applications

We have experience analyzing various materials for industrial purposes, including:

Our clients have come from numerous industries and research fields, including: