Abstract

X-ray electron probe microanalysis is a complete mineral analysis technique. Therefore, the sum of obtained concentrations can be used as an indicator of the quality of analysis. There are two kinds of errors of the sum of concentrations. The first is related to the deviation of the sum from the basic value and can be called a difference error. The second is the scattering of results around the mean value and can be called an averaging error. The difference error characterizes the reproducibility of the measurements and equals 0.41% at the current precision level. The averaging error characterizes the repeatability of the measurements and equals 0.23%. The difference error can be used as a quality indicator directly during analysis, while the averaging error can be used after analysis of a batch of specimens. According to the modified three-sigma rule, the acceptable sum values of separate analyses are in the range 98.8–100.8%. This range is obviously valid only for an ideal model with a basic sum value of 100%. In real analyses, the basic value deviates from 100% because of the presence of elements which are not detected in the analysis and elements with a variable valence. According to the three-sigma rule, the acceptable scattering of the sum of concentrations around the average value is ±0.7%.

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