The TIMA is an automated solution for providing mineralogical analyses of geological samples. It is based on a scanning electron microscope (SEM) that seamlessly integrates with EDX detectors. Combined with a proprietary software package, the system can generate comprehensive mineralogical breakdowns using either of three different modes, namely modal, liberation or bright phase analysis.
The system that has been installed at the CSIRO is based on the TESCAN MIRA3 FEG-SEM, Schottky field emission gun column. To improve efficiency and throughput, the system also features the larger GM chamber which can host up to 22, 25mm diameter samples at once. Samples are easily selected using the computer-driven stage.
The system has been further customized with the addition of TESCAN’s unique Rainbow CL detector (color cathodoluminescence detector) which combines panchromatic and color CL in a single unit and boasts 4x higher sensitivity than other common CL detectors. Their system also includes a scintillator BSE detector, in-beam SE and BSE detectors, low vacuum SE detector and Oxford EDS detector which enhances its analytical capabilities.
The addition of the TESCAN TIMA to CSIRO’s arsenal adds high resolution automated mineralogy capabilities for advanced characterization of exploration and ore deposit samples for the mining and minerals industry. Furthermore, the automated nature of the TIMA will allow them to produce detailed mineralogical models, increase productivity and add to complementary data from other instruments.
This marks the second TESCAN electron microscope installation in Western Australia in just over 6 months and the first TIMA installation in the country. AXT will also be installing two more TESCAN SEM in January including another TIMA system at Curtin University.