The iCRAG Lab@TCD comprises state-of-the-art electron and laser beam equipment for the characterisation of geoscience material. These facilities have ushered in a new era in geo-analysis in Ireland with the first dedicated scanning electron microscope, the TIGER, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, using the latest in detector technology for the characterisation of minerals. The instrument is a Pan-European collaboration of three leading manufacturers giving Irish researchers a cutting edge in applied and fundamental research.
The TIGER is a special type of scanning electron microscope, which we will use to investigate real-world rocks and environmental samples at sub-microscopic scale. This cutting edge analytical instrument has a wide array of detectors that allow the simultaneous determination of many properties, such as composition, luminescence and atomic arrangement. The TIGER also has software that can automatically recognise groups of minerals within a rock and map their mutual relationships. Most importantly, the TIGER can quantify the content of valuable metals in rocks in unprecedented detail. It will thus be used to develop new approaches to resource and energy efficiency.