Applications

Magmatic and metamorphic petrology and mineralogy

Petrology and mineralogy benefit from the electron microscopy technique because of several reasons. The high magnification factor as well as the phase contrast provided by the back scattered electron imaging play a crucial role for these disciplines. The analytical capabilities of the technique make the SEM an ultimate solution in this field.

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Ore processing

Scanning electron microscopy helps to characterize the mineral of interest as well as the surrounding gangue. Such technique is capable of both phase identification and evaluation of textural relationships of individual minerals.

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Oil & Gas

Scanning electron microscopy is an integral part of reservoir rock characterization workflow. The elementary imaging function of SEM is used when searching for basic rock properties such as porosity or grain shape.

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Paleontology

Scanning electron microscopy is a key tool in micro fossil characterization helping to distinguish features which are otherwise irresolvable by means of optical microscopy.

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Sedimentary petrology

Electron microscopy is helpful in tackling wide range of petrological problems. Rock characterization mostly relies on optical microscopy, however, there is growing demand to characterize the rocks with greater detail nowadays.

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Recycling

Automated mineralogy approach is currently finding its way to other areas than just ore processing. This technique can be applied e.g. in the field of electronic scrap recycling where it is used to characterize the composition and structure of comminuted e-scrap.

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CL

Cathodoluminiscence (CL) is a phenomenon which consists in the emission of visible light as a result of the interaction of the electron beam and the sample. CL is very sensitive to relative changes in trace element composition and to the presence of structural defects. A SEM equipped with a CL detector can visualize even the slightest compositional variation in some phases which enables the correct situating of analytical spots as well as insight into the crystallization history.

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SEM-based automated mineralogical analysis

TIMA (Tescan Integrated Mineral Analyzer) equipped with up to four EDS detectors has been specifically developed to meet the requirements in process mineralogy. Automated mineralogical analysis enables a fast qualitative and quantitative analysis of geological samples which provide information on mineral abundance, textural relationships, grain size distribution as well as the liberation degree.

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Raman spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy is a well-established technique in the field of mineralogical research. Such technique can help researchers identify individual mineral phases and, unlike the EDS, it is also capable of distinguishing different polymorphic modifications such as the diamond and graphite.

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Analytical potential

Scanning electron microscopy provides earth sciences with vast analytical potential. The SEM-based analytical methods use different signals such as electrons and photons which are generated as a result of the interaction of the electron beam and the sample under analysis. In particular, the characteristic X-rays are one of the most important signals of interest in earth sciences because they carry information on the elemental composition of the samples.

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