Cathodoluminescence Imaging for Geology
Mosaic of fast CL images of quartz in sandstone
Cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging uses light generated by irradiation of material with fast electrons to characterize optical properties on the nanoscale. CL imaging is used to study provenance, texture, growth zonation, composition, and the presence of trace elements in rocks to determine history, composition and permeability. CL imaging using a high collection efficiency produces fast scanning over large areas to locate regions of interest or as a pre-screening tool for additional testing.
Cathodoluminescence spectroscopy is a valuable tool for the micro-characterization of rocks and minerals, complementary to other electron microscopy-based techniques, such as backscattered electron (BSD) imaging and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) for elemental identification. Cathodoluminescence can be used to study geological samples such as sandstone and zircon. With an integrated system, CL imaging may be applied in different modes from surveying a large area to using hyperspectral techniques to reveal microscopic textures and phases.