The charge of the EPMA use is needed for the maintenance of our instrument and accessories. The rates (see table below) depend on the type of user, time used during the workday or weekend, assisted or unassisted work, etc. Booking (and invoicing) is made per session or/and a fraction of session (unit price per session in the table below), where three types of sessions cover one full day of using the EPMA:

    • Session 1 (Morning session): from 9 am to 1 pm (4 hours)
    • Session 2 (Afternoon session): from 1 pm to 5 pm (4 hours)
    • Session 3 (Evening/Overnight session): from 5 pm to 8 am the next day (15 hours).

The EPMA use for a fraction of the session (E.g. 3 hours of unassisted work in the afternoon session during the workday), is invoiced as a fraction of that session (E.g. price per session * 3/4).  The same principle applies to using automated overnight runs. If the evening/overnight session starts at 5 pm and ends at 1 am (8 hours), the price would be the session rate * 8/15). This is equivalent to using the hourly rate ( see table below).

The users who would need to acquire data using EPMA multiple times or on a regular basis are encouraged to go through training sessions at the beginning. After training is complete, the users should continue the EPMA work unassisted. If assistance is needed for a full session, the assisted time will be charged.

Rates (in $) for EPMA instrument usage time, from January 1st, 2023

Rates starting January 1st,   2023    (in US dollars) Non-assisted and assisted sessions    (in brackets: session rate for assisted 4 hour-session) Non-assisted, only (in brackets: hourly rate)
                                        Weekdays                        Weekends**
Session 1 Session 2   Hourly rate  Session 3  Session 1  Session 2  Session 3
1 Rice     140 (180*)     140 (180*)     35 (45)   290 (19.33)   100    (25)   100    (25)   290 (19.33)
2 External academic     200 (280*)     200 (280*)     50   (80*)   360  (24)   200 (50)   200 (50)   360 (24)
3 Commercial contracts***     500*     500*     125*    1000     500     500    1000

Session 1: 9 am – 1 pm; Session 2: 1 pm – 5 pm; Session 3: 5 pm – 8 am the following day (automated analysis, only);     # External users have priority over the internal users for the week days sessions;  # # Internal users (trained) have priority over the external users for the weekend sessions

Non-assisted sessions: for trained users, only.

* Rates for assisted EPMA time.

** External academic users should contact the Lab manager to book Weekends and Public Holiday EPMA times and rates.

***Prices excluding sale tax. An amount equal to 8.25% of the invoice will be additionally charged as sale tax for users outside the academic system. The prices are negotiable, based on the type and complexity of each EPMA project and the time required for data acquisition, preparing EPMA reports, etc.

For any questions, please contact the Lab Manager (

Weekend and Public Holiday: Session 3 during weekdays and Sessions 1, 2, and 3 during weekends are not assisted. Bracketed are hourly rates. For booking assisted EPMA work during evenings or weekend sessions, please contact the Lab Manager. Only users with experience on our instrument will conduct unassisted work during evening sessions and weekends or public holidays. Inexperienced users who need to book the EPMA for the weekend time must be assisted by the Lab Manager. In this case, the rate per session is doubled compared to the one shown in the table above.

EPMA reports are included in the EPMA rate****. The reports consist of Excel files with raw data for quantitative analysis, WDS element maps (in relative intensity “level” scale), WDS qualitative (WDS scans), EDS pdf files consisting of BSE images, spectra, and semi-quantitative data.

The type of reports excluded from the EPMA rate and which are added to the invoice (reports which require time at the EPMA computer after the session is ended and is considered EPMA time, charged accordingly) are:

  • WDS quantitative element maps (each element in each map has to be standardized, the image adjusted to a color scale, etc);
  • analyzed points imported on the BSE images

An additional charge “Operator time” ($40/h for academic users and $60$/h for commercial users) will be incurred to the assisted rate when samples are sent directly to the lab for analyses  (no user is present and the lab manager conducts the analysis).

External academic users having ongoing research projects or collaborating with Rice faculty or Research Scientists (the EPMA work is part of collaborative work and publications) can qualify for internal rates (Category 1 in the table above).

During unassisted instrument time, the user (and their P.I.) is liable for any damage to the EPMA instrument and lab.

Carbon coating cost

One carbon coating batch cost $30, for any user.


The user fees will be revised every six months and may increase depending on the maintenance cost.