Cathodoluminescence imaging on quartz in sandstone

Cathodoluminescence intensity mapping: Adding an extra dimension to your research

Posted by Noor van der Veeken on Dec 8, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Those who understand the basic mechanisms of cathodoluminescence (CL) know that it is essentially a useful byproduct of electron microscopy. Fast electrons that are fired at a material cause it to become excited, thereby emitting photons of characteristic wavelength. CL intensity measurement is one of the many useful methods using CL emission to obtain valuable information about your sample complementary to other techniques such as SE, BSE, EBSD or EDS.

This article further explains how CL intensity mapping exactly works and how it can be employed in various types of research.

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Topics: materials science, cathodoluminescence


Glowing yellow calcite and green aragonite: Cathodoluminescence sheds light in geosciences

Posted by Kaitlin van Baarle on Sep 14, 2016 2:00:00 PM

In the nineteenth century, before the development of modern technology as we know it now, vacuum tubes were widely used to study the fundamental properties of materials and objects. During this period, William Crookes, the inventor of the vacuum tube, was studying various objects with these tools. At the time, scientists were unsure of the exact processes that were occurring, but in these vacuum tubes electrons were essentially being fired at objects at the end of the vacuum tube. These electrons excited the materials which caused them to produce light when they returned back to their equilibrium state, a process known as cathodoluminescence (CL). This process is still being used in geology as well as other scientific fields, albeit with much more complex and efficient technology. To this day, CL is an extremely useful tool in the geosciences and is experiencing a resurgence in popularity with the ability to integrate it with a scanning electron microscope [2].

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Topics: materials science, cathodoluminescence


From the discovery of the electron to subwavelength microscopy: An introduction to cathodoluminescence

Posted by Kaitlin van Baarle on Jul 1, 2016 11:53:08 AM

In 1897, the electron was discovered by Sir Joseph John Thomson. The physicist and eventual Nobel Prize winner was in fact conducting research on “cathode rays”. At the time, cathode rays were only known as the consequence of an electric current that was passed through a vacuum tube. It was observed that electrically charged particles would collide with atoms at the end of the tube and excite them, thus causing them to fluoresce, or emit fluorescent light. It was further made evident that these were rays travelling in a straight line from one end of the tube to the next, by placing a shape in the middle of the tube and observing that very shape casting a shadow at the end of the tube.

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Topics: materials science, cathodoluminescence


Thoughts on the various applications, techniques, and complications to be discovered in the fascinating fields of both cathodoluminescence and correlative light and electron microscopy.

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