Mineral and Materials Characterization Facility – Automated Mineralogy Lab

The Mineral and Materials Characterization Facility is equipped with a TESCAN Integrated Mineral Analyzer (TIMA) and a Bruker/Hitachi Advanced Mineral Analysis and Characterization System (AMICS) that are dedicated to mineral characterization and application development for the minerals, energy, environmental, biological, and planetary research groups, and industries.

The TESCAN Integrated Mineral Analyzer (TIMA) is based on a VEGA thermal emission scanning electron microscope. Special VEGA column design with permanent gun high-vacuum and the isolation valve significantly increases emission stability and tungsten filament lifetime.

A computer controlled stage carries a specially designed mineralogical sample holder. It allows inserting up to 7 resin blocks with a diameter of 30 mm or 25 mm at the same time or up to two standard petrographic thin sections.

In the center of the holder, an EDX/BSE calibration standard for automatic system calibration is placed. The standard consists of a platinum Faraday cup for BSE signal calibration and manganese standard for system performance checks.

The TESCAN Integrated Mineral Analyzer (TIMA) is equipped with an ultra-fast YAG scintillator BSE detector, which is one of the key components of the data acquisition part of the system.

The BSE detector is complemented with four silicon drift EDX detectors (PulseTor) in analytical geometry to cover maximum solid angle of X-ray data acquisition for high throughput analysis.

The SE detector is a Everhart-Thornley detector.