Imaging and analysis techniques

Chemical analysis

Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) techniques

These techniques use inductively coupled plasma to ionise samples.

Equipment

Ion chromatography

Determination of ions is performed using conductivity, UV-visible spectrometry or electrochemical detectors. 

Equipment

CHN elemental analysis

In CHN elemental analysis solids are combusted and the resulting oxides of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen are analysed chromatographically.

Equipment

Micro-analysis

Electron probe microanalysis (EPMA)

The Cameca SX100 is a dedicated wavelength-dispersive X-ray electron microprobe that performs quantitative elemental analysis of samples while left unattended overnight. 

Equipment

Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray micro-analysis

Four of the scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) in the Museum's imaging facility are capable of X-ray micro-analysis.

Equipment

Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS)

The (ESI) New Wave UP193FX laser ablation system is coupled to the Agilent 7500cs ICP-MS to provide a dedicated LA-ICP-MS system that can perform quantitative trace element analysis of solid materials and U-Pb age determinations in accessory mineral phases.

Equipment

Imaging and tomography

Micro-computed tomography (CT)

Micro-CT is a non-invasive and non-destructive technique that uses X-rays to create 3D models of the internal and external features of specimens. More than 3,000 X-ray projections are taken over a 360° rotation. A greyscale 3D volume is created, where the grey level reflects the X-ray attenuation of the material being scanned.

Equipment

High-resolution scanning electron microscopy

The Museum's imaging facility has two scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) capable of high-resolution imaging. Follow the links below to discover key features and technical details, see examples and find out which would be most suitable for your applications.

Equipment

Confocal microscopy

In this technique a Nikon Eclipse upright microscope is coupled to a Nikon A1-Si confocal microscope to scan an object using a laser beam to build up the image a line at a time.

Equipment

Variable pressure scanning electron microscopy

The Museum's imaging facility has three scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) that can work at variable pressures. Find out about their key features and technical details, see examples and find out which would be most suitable for your applications. 

Equipment

Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray micro-analysis

Four of the scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) in the Museum's imaging facility are capable of X-ray micro-analysis.

Equipment

Transmission electron microscopy

The Museum uses the Hitachi H-7100 transmission electron microscope (TEM), which is specially designed to prevent beam damage to delicate and sensitive specimens. Discover more about the instrument and technique.

Equipment

X-ray diffraction (XRD)

X-ray diffraction (XRD) laboratory

Our X-ray diffraction facility comprises several state-of-the-art instruments used for phase identification, phase quantification and crystal structure analysis.

Equipment

  • Enraf-Nonius Powder Diffraction Systems 120
  • Panalytical Scanning Diffractometer X’Pert Pro MPD
  • Rigaku Rapid 2 Micro-XRD with curved 2D detector
  • Agilent X’Calibur Single Crystal Diffractometer with CCD area detector