Petrology-Mineralogy Characterisation Facility (PMCF), Mineral and Planetary Sciences Division, Natural History Museum, London, UK.
Imaging and Analysis Centre
The MPSD will provide access to their world leading sample characterization instrumentation and methodologies. The facility focuses on micro-computed tomography (µ-CT) and X-ray diffractometry (XRD). Micro-CT capabilities produce 3D reproductions of geological materials with a size of between 3–250 mm with a resolution of 3–5 µm (on the smallest samples) and can use X-rays to visualise the internal structure of specimens in the XUM in 2D and 3D (Fig 1). MPSD are specialists in XRD analysis of extraterrestrial samples and have developed a micro-XRD to enable spatially resolved analysis of fine-grained materials. 4 powder diffraction instruments are available: XRD with very large 120º position-sensitive detector, XRD with GeniX high flux X-ray source (µXRD), high-resolution PANalytical X’Pert Pro α1 XRD and Rigaku D/MAX-RAPID II XRD.
The CT and XRD facility is supported by unrivalled imaging capabilities that include Field Emission SEM (two systems available) (Fig 2); Zeiss Ultra+ scanning electron microscope for high resolution secondary and backscatter electron imaging (1nm resolution at 3-5kV in-lens SE); FEI Quanta 650 ESEM FEG high resolution variable pressure SEM equipped with state of the art Bruker flat Quad EDX detector capable of high speed data acquisition including unique ability to analyse highly topographic samples in an uncoated state and at low kV (<10kV). Cameca SX100 Electron Microprobe and Zeiss EVO SEM set up specifically for quantitative electron beam microanalysis with EDX, WDX and CL capabilities in VP and high vacuum.
The NHM also provides state of the art Laser Ablation-ICP-MS, as well as solutions ICP-MS, ICP-AES and Ion Chromatography. These equipment are housed in purpose-built laboratories, with a staff complement of 12 full-time scientists. For further information contact Prof. Sara Russell and her team