The x-ray fluorescence hardware consists of a Thermo ARL990 wavelength dispersive unit equipped with a pair of fast, highly accurate gearless goniometers, each with multiple crystals.
Samples are analyzed directly as pressed pellets. This direct form of analysis minimizes sampling error, lowers detection limits and enhances reproducibility because of large sample size and minimal sample preparation. Matrix effects are handled efficiently in a wide variety of sample types with a comprehensive fundamental parameters data reduction method. The standard analysis includes the quantitative analysis of 31 elements (see periodic table). Special arrangements can be made to analyze other elements (Z>8). At least one replicate sample is analyzed with each group of samples submitted by a client. One certified reference material is analyzed as an “unknown” with each group of samples submitted. The quality control results are included with the analytical report.
The x-ray diffraction hardware consists of a Siemens D5000matic system equipped with a ceramic copper tube, graphite monochromator, computer controlled theta-compensation slit, sample spinner and automated sample changer.
Phase identifcations are based on Siemens (aka, Bruker) search/match software,
manual Hanawalt search/match procedures and comparison to XRD data from
our collection of mineral standards.
Phase concentrations are determined using relative peak areas, our quantitative XRF elemental analysis and our XRD data for mineral standards.
Standard reports include semiquantitative estimates of the concentrations of all crystalline phases identified and a description of the analytical procedure. Quantitative analysis of specific minerals (eg, quartz and cristobalite) is available on request. Analysis of the clay-size fraction of geologic samples is also available.
The scanning electron microscopy system hardware consists of a variable pressure JEOL model ”5900LV” equipped with a large specimen chamber, 5 axis computer controlled stage, and SEI (secondary electron image) and BEI (backscatter electron image) detectors capable of imaging metallic and non-metallic samples up to ~300,000x. The SEM is equipped with a Noran EDS detector and System 7 by Thermo for elemental mapping and analysis for elements Z≥4. Analytical results may be presented as printed color images or files on a flash drive.