Project

Imaging of chemical and structural processes in minerals

Goal: In order to understand certain chemical processes and how they correlate with inner structural changes in minerals, several analytical methods could be used. By using these methods in studying of minerals and materials (mostly with industrial applications) is of great importance for understanding the processes taking place at the atomic or molecular level. The development of hyperspectral imaging on a LA-ICP-MS, electron microprobe (WDS) and Raman spectroscopy brought interesting results in the field of crystallography and material
research and the combination of such data sets offers great potential to improve both qualitative and quantitative description of results. Main goal of this research is ability to quantify data by combining results from Raman spectroscopy (structural fingerprint of molecules), electron probe microanalysis (elemental concentrations and distribution within sample) and LA-ICP-MS (highly sensitive elemental and isotopic analysis for the detection of trace elements) that could provide a very comprehensive tool for the investigation of structural/phase transitions and chemistry changes in the sample.

Date: 1 January 2022

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Kamil Sobek
added a research item
If we detect changes in the chemical composition (mostly zonal development or the occurrence of different mineral phases) via electron microprobe, it is also possible to assume the existence of structural changes visible in the Raman spectra in form of a band shifts or bandwidth variations. Presence of such changes may relate to substitution mechanisms and distribution of different impurities may be confirmed by LA-ICP-MS 2D imaging (especially sub-ppm elements previously not detected on EPMA). Interrelationships between structure and chemical composition can then be sought in interesting correlations between these techniques.
Kamil Sobek
added a project goal
In order to understand certain chemical processes and how they correlate with inner structural changes in minerals, several analytical methods could be used. By using these methods in studying of minerals and materials (mostly with industrial applications) is of great importance for understanding the processes taking place at the atomic or molecular level. The development of hyperspectral imaging on a LA-ICP-MS, electron microprobe (WDS) and Raman spectroscopy brought interesting results in the field of crystallography and material
research and the combination of such data sets offers great potential to improve both qualitative and quantitative description of results. Main goal of this research is ability to quantify data by combining results from Raman spectroscopy (structural fingerprint of molecules), electron probe microanalysis (elemental concentrations and distribution within sample) and LA-ICP-MS (highly sensitive elemental and isotopic analysis for the detection of trace elements) that could provide a very comprehensive tool for the investigation of structural/phase transitions and chemistry changes in the sample.
 
Kamil Sobek
added a research item
Rare hyalite opal showing green daylight fluorescence was discovered in the Erongo region, Namibia, sometime prior to 2000. Raman spectroscopy confirms this hyalite to be opal-A, and the most interesting feature of the Raman spectra are bands associated with the hydroxyl-stretching regions in the mineral's structure. A doublet at 3602/3665 cm-1 appears to be unique to opal from this locality and may be due to the vibration of water in an unusual structural-binding arrangement. Trace amounts of the uranyl molecule (UO 2) 2+ are responsible for the luminescence, which is unevenly distributed according to the opal's botryoidal structure. Measured radioactivity values are similar to those reported for other daylight-fluorescing opals (e.g. from Mexico), and are well below the global average terrestrial gamma dose rate.