Scanning Electron Microscope

The scanning electron microscope is a CAMSCAN Series II that is equipped with high-resolution imaging capability for both secondary-electron (SE) and back-scattered electron (BSE) imaging, and with an energy-dispersive solid state detector for qualitative and semi-quantitative compositional characterization. We routinely image and analyze minerals, glasses, alloys, ceramics, industrial materials (e.g., electric-motor brushes, electromagnets) and other materials (e.g., concrete, bio-materials, fossils, etc.). The instrument is equipped with a digital-capture camera so that all images can be saved in digital form as .bmp, .tif, .jpg or other formats. The energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) can detect presence of elements heavier than Na at concentrations of about 0.5 wt% or higher.
Recent images taken with the SEM:
1.  Secondary electron image of Pine sample that has been heated to simulate the fossilization process (work of Christina Lopano and Don Rimstidt).  The nodules are silicic and formed during the process.
2.  Zoomed-in secondary electron image of #1, showing textures of silicic rosettes.

3.  Extreme close-up of silicic rosette from figs. 1 and 2.

4.  Back-scattered electron image of silicate inclusion in an Iron metoerite (Udei).  White is iron-sulfide, dark grey is olivine or orthopyroxene, light grey is clino-pyroxene. (photo by Gretchen Benedix)

5. Back-scattered electron images of a silicate vein from a contact-metamorphosed xenolith in the Cortlandt Complex, NY. Darker material is quartz and lighter is ternary feldspar (approx. Or42 Ab 42 An16).

6. Lead sulfide (PbS) in an Alleghanian-age (ca. 270 Ma) reaction texture involving retrogression-hydration of Th-rich Grenville-age (ca. 1.07 Ga) monazite from westernmost North Carolina. PbS is the bright grain in the center and is surrounded by unreacted monazite (Ce,REE phosphate). Medium-bright grain left of PbS is huttonite or thorite (ThSiO4), spotted grain right of PbS is allanite (REE-silicate), and dark grains are apatite. The Pb in PbS is interpreted as entirely radiogenic Pb due to radioactive decay of Th and U in monazite during the time from 1.07 Ga to 270 Ma.