Project title: Developing quantitative SEM analysis and imaging for minerals and glasses
Researcher: Dr Paul Guyett
The research will aim to improve the quality of element data for mineral and glass samples and will increase acceptance of quantitative SEM-EDX data. Previously, within the geochemical community, EDX has typically been used for qualitative or semi-quantitative analysis, to determine what elements are present in a sample before undertaking quantitative analysis by wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS). However, compared to WDS, EDX has the advantage of being both quicker, less sensitive to sample surface topography. Importantly EDX also uses a much lower beam current than WDS, this means samples containing mobile volatile elements can accurately be analysed. With appropriate standards, fully quantitative EDX analysis can be as, if not more, accurate and precise as WDS. This research will investigate if this also applies to geological samples. Following on from this, protocols will be developed for superfast EDX mapping of geological samples. The research will also look at developing combined EDX and EBSD and/or Raman analysis for polished and particulate samples for characterization of multiphase samples.