Cathodoluminescence Microscope

HC4-LM Cathodoluminscence Microscope

The HC4-LM Hot Cathodoluminscence Microscope (CLM, Lumic) captures the emission of photons (from ultraviolet to infrared) of a solid material that is irradiated by an electron beam. Typically semiconductors or some insulators would emit luminescence upon the bombardment of electrons. The luminescence is dependent on the material characteristics, including chemistry, crystal structure, lattice defect, etc. 

The advantage of using HC4-LM is this instrument allows researchers to obtain the true color CL images in real time, while SEM-CL either provides gray scale CL images (e.g. Gatan mini-CL  system) or is time consuming (e.g. Gata Mono-CL system).

In geosciences, CLM is a powerful tool for detailed analyses of rocks and minerals, including biogenic mineral substances. Due to the geometry of this microscope, the CL image is recorded from the backside of the polished thin section. The image quality can be improved by either reducing the thickness of the section (<25 um) or polish both sides of the thin section (the backside is also polished prior to mounting it to the glass slide).

Applicaitons of CLM:

  1. Zonation of crystals, crytal-growth mechanism.
  2. Differentiation of phases
  3. Textural relationships between minerals
  4. Construction of petro- and parageneric models, alteration and mineralization.
  5. Geochemical, stable isotope partitioning.


Cathodoluminescence Microscope