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ZAPLab Instrumentation

The ZAPLab at UWO houses a state of the art suite of sample preparation, optical and electron-beam instrumentation. We are able to analyze many different geological materials including geochronologically important minerals, astro-materials, fossilized materials, as well as full geological thin-sections and slabs. In addition, we have experience with alloys, biological material and plastics.

Electron Nanobeam (FE-SEM) Capabilities:

  • Secondary Electron Imaging up to 350,000x (Topography)
  • Backscatter Election Imaging (Average Atomic and Orientation Contrast)
  • Energy Dispersive Spectrometry ( Major and Minor Qualitative and Quantitative Elemental)
  • Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry (Trace Quantitative Elemental)
  • Nano-scale High resolution Electron Backscatter Diffraction (Orientation, Strain and Phase-ID)
  • Colour Cathodoluminescence (Mapping variations in trace element and defect concentration)
  • Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (nano-scale imaging, transmission kikuchi diffraction)

Sample processing/preparation:

  • Electric Pulse Disaggregator (EPD) for mineral disaggregation
  • Steel Plate and Piston and a shatter box for sample crushing
  • Wilfley Table water separation
  • Frantz electromagnet separation
  • Hydro-Separator for density mineral separation
  • Sieving
  • Lithium Sodium Poly-Tungstate (LST) heavy liquid separation
  • Low Speed Saw with Diamond Waffering Blade for sectioning small samples
  • Epoxy Moulds to make 1" round epoxy pucks
  • Polishing wheels for sectioning grains, and polishing sections. We have many fine grit pads (30 to 0.05 micron).
  • Vibratory EBSD-quality colloidal alumina polishing
  • Edwards evaporative carbon coater to prepare samples for electron beam instrumentation


Also from this web page:

Our Department:

The Department of Earth Sciences

At the University of Western Ontario


ZAPLab Instrumentation:

  • Hitachi SU6600 FEG-SEM
  • Inca X-Max EDS
  • Inca Wave WDS
  • Gatan ChromaCL
  • CNT-MC Spark-3 EPD
  • Optical Imaging
  • Hitachi S2500 SEM