Scanning Microscopy


Experimentation and interpretation of cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy and spectroscopy applied to the microcharacterization of material minerals are reviewed. The origins of the intrinsic (host lattice) and extrinsic (impurities) luminescence emissions in crystals are briefly discussed. Merits and limitations of the available techniques are illustrated. CL emission changes as a function of the incident electron dose are illustrated for the case of natural quartz and sphalerite (ZnS) crystals. These effects are discussed in terms of the development of bulk charging, production of heat, diffusion of impurities, and creation of lattice defects induced by the incident ionizing particles. Although CL emission is mostly extrinsic in origin there is no general rule for identifying the nature of impurities from the CL emission spectra of minerals. However there is potential for using CL spectroscopy for trace element analysis as presented for the case of minerals containing rare-earth luminescent ions. The CL emission is a signature of the crystal-chemistry properties of minerals and hence contains potential genetic information. Some of the applications of CL emissions in the geosciences are summarized.

Included in

Biology Commons