Electron Microprobe Laboratory
The electron microprobe is the most widely used instrument for non-destructive in-situ X-ray microanalysis of geological, metallurgical, and other materials.
The secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) or ion probe uses a focused ion beam to sputter material from the polished surface of the sample. This material is ionized and accelerated into a mass spectrometer. Important characteristics of SIMS is high sensitivity compared to other microbeam techniques, with detection limits in the parts-per-billion range for many elements. The technique can also perform isotopic analyses in situ on very small sample volumes.
Isotope Geochemistry Laboratories
Determination of isotope ratios on a wide range of geological materials is used for isotope geochemical tracing and geochronology.
Microscopy and Microthermometry
A range of optical microscopes are available for petrographic and mineralogic study. Some are equipped with heating and cooling stages for micro-thermometry experiments.
The Noble Gas Laboratory
The noble gases (or "rare gases") helium, neon, argon, krypton, and xenon are chemically inert. Due to their volatile nature they have a strong tendency to partition into gas or fluid phases and can be used as tracers for the origin and the transport of fluids.
Other analytical facilities
A wide range of other analytical methods and facilities for rock, mineral and fluid analyses are maintained by Section 4.2.
Raman Spectroscopy Lab
The GFZ Raman Spectroscopy Laboratory uses a Horiba Jobin Yvon Laser Raman Triple LABRAM spectrometer equipped with an Olympus optical microscope. The confocal technique provides an efficient way to obtain interference-free Raman spectra in-situ on small specimens embedded in a transparent matrix.
Rock and Mineral Preparation
The best analytical equipment is of no value without good samples. We maintain central facilities and equipment for cleaning, crushing and grinding rock samples, for mineral separation (gravity and magnetic techniques) and for the production of thin and polished sections and grain mounts
There are two main applications of X-Ray radiation in geochemical and mineralogic research. One is to determine the crystal structure of solids (X-Ray Diffraction or XRD). The other application determines the chemical composition of samples ( X-Ray Fluorescence or XRF).