Electron microscopy allows characterization of geomaterials at the microscopic to nano-scale. We specialize in the characterization of a wide-range of minerals including, but not limited to, silicates, (oxyhydr)oxides, sulfides, sulfates, carbonates and phosphates. In addition, we are developing novel high-resolution electron imaging and spectroscopic tools, as well as complex sample environments, for the characterization of geomaterials.
The research group runs and manage the Potsdam Imaging and Spectral Analysis (PISA) Facility. The PISA facility currently houses 2 high-resolution Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM), 1 high-resolution Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and 2 Focused Ion Beam combined with SEM (FIB-SEM).
Using our ZEISS Ultra Plus and FEI Quanta SEMs and associated Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) Spectroscopy, we can provide mineral surface structure and its chemical composition. Further mineral characterization of thin samples can be obtained using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) on our FEI Tecnai and Thermo Fisher Scientific Titan Themis Z TEMs. On these TEMs, Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) Spectroscopy and Selected Area Electron Diffraction (SAED) can be used to provide chemical composition and crystal structure at the nano-scale. Focused Ion Beam (FIB) milling on FEI Helios electron microscope allows thin sample preparation for TEM observations. Finally, Liquid Phase Transmission Electron Microscopy (LPTEM) using Poseidon holder (Protochips) is a cutting-edge technique currently developed here to design experimental procedure that will allow us to investigate in situ mineral formation and mineral dissolution processes.
Current research projects from our group include:
- Clay Mineral Formation at Ambient Conditions
- Iron Minerals and their Impact on Nutrients and Trace Elements Cycling
- Development of Liquid Phase Transmission Electron Microscopy for Geosciences
External scientific users can request access to these microscopes. Please visit Potsdam Imaging and Spectral Analysis (PISA) Facility for more information.