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Electron microbeam facility

Our microscope can be used to image objects such as minerals and microfossils at a magnification far exceeding the capabilities of an optical microscope.

The Electron Microbeam facility in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences houses two Scanning Electron Microscopes and an X-ray Diffractometer. The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is used for characterization, imaging and analysis of sub-micron features in materials. The X-ray Diffractometer is used for identifying and characterizing minerals, either alone or in complex mixtures.

Our facilities include a state-of-the-art Zeiss Sigma HD Field Emission Gun Analytical SEM which is used for high-resolution imaging and X-ray element mapping as well as quantitative analysis of major, minor and trace elements. In addition our FEI XL30 Field Emission GunEnvironmental SEM is used for high-resolution imaging and semi-quantitative X-ray element analysis of samples. Carbon- and gold-coating facilities are available for non-conducting samples. The Philips PW1710 Automated Powder Diffractometer is used for identifying and characterizing minerals, either alone or in complex mixtures.

Our instruments are available to users from all colleges within Cardiff University, as well as other academic institutions and industry partners. Those interested in using the facilities should contact Duncan Muir (MuirD1@cardiff.ac.uk).

Equipment

Name Make/Model Details
Analytical SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) Zeiss Sigma HD Field Emission Gun Analytical SEM (ASEM) The Schottky Thermal Field Emission Gun provides a stable beam that can be operated between 0.2 and 30 kV and 4 pA to 100 nA.
Environmental SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) FEI XL30 Field Emission Gun Environmental SEM (ESEM). Allows magnifications up to 500,000x on conventional coated/conducting samples. Has the capability for high resolution SEM of uncoated and even hydrated "wet" samples.
XRD (X-Ray Diffractometer) Philips Automated Powder Diffractometer (model PW1710) Solid and powdered crystaline materials are identified against a database of more than 70,000 recorded phases. Quantification is possible.

Get in touch

Dr Duncan Muir

Email:
muird1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5059

Location

  • Main Building
    Park Place
    CF10 3AT