Delmic SPARC CL image of Zircon
Cathodoluminescence (CL), light generated by irradiation of material with fast electrons, is used to characterize optical properties on the nanoscale. When an electron beam interacts with matter, many events happen that are detectable by microscopy techniques, including CL. Cathodoluminescence techniques analyze the resulting photons that are emitted in the ultraviolet to near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The power of cathodoluminescence is the combination of functional optical information with the high spatial resolution of electron microscopy.
A relevant technology to the field of nanophotonics, CL generates hyperspectral light-emission maps that reflect the local density of electromagnetic states. With CL, the directionality and polarization of emission can rigorously be measured to provide insight in the optical properties of nanostructures. It is applicable to metallic as well as dielectric and semiconductor nanostructures, including nanoparticles, nanowires, metamolecules, metasurfaces, and photonic crystals.
Cathodoluminescence imaging is also an ideal tool to study geological samples. The CL emission from a rock gives insights into crystal growth, zonation, cementation, replacement, deformation, provenance, trace elements, and defect structures. This can be used to fingerprint rocks and reveal interesting spatial textures on a submicron scale.
The SPARC is a seamlessly integrated CL system, compatible with full-sized SEMs, offering multiple imaging modes on a modular platform.
Cathodoluminescence spectroscopy for nanoscale optics, geology, and materials science - An Introduction and Applications.
See the Cathodoluminescence webinar on our Vimeo channel, co-hosted by Delmic and Nanoscience Instruments. Dr. S. Meuret from the Polman group at FOM-Institute AMOLF joined us as our guest speaker to discuss time-resolved CL imaging.