Scanning Microscopy


Micro-Raman spectroscopy is a useful analytical tool for studying minerals in thin section. The advantages of this technique as a structural probe for analysis of micron-size minerals are demonstrated with a study of polymorphism of SiO2 and MgSiO3. Three polymorphs of silica, 𝝰-quartz, coesite, and glass, in a thin section of Coconino sandstone were identified in situ with a Raman microprobe. The Raman spectra of these phases were compared to that measured for stishovite obtained from the same rock. Spectra of protoenstatite, orthoenstatite, and clinoenstatite, three polymorphs of MgSiO3, are consistent with their similar pyroxene chain structures but different space groups. The characteristic Raman spectra in each instance could be used for "finger-printing" identification of the phases and their orientations.

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