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 Post subject: EDS SEM
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:06 pm 
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Recently I started looking into Energy Dispersive Spectrometers (EDS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) ...the scopes I was looking at with those capabilities tend to be in the $3,000 (US) range roughly. Holidays are coming, and I'm no impulse buyer ... but I'm interested in anyone's thoughts or feelings about this type of scope.

I'm also interested in what it's ideal use is for within the gem field. Better for rough? Crystallography? Mineralogy? Is is just plain ol' overkill? Do I need to seek out quarks? Why do I even know of quarks? Just how small is smallest? Where does life begin? What is the meaning of life? Are EDS emotionally fulfilling? What about SEM? Will I wear ugly protective wear? Will I shut up?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:51 pm 
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Cinnabar...

...while we breathlessly await comments from Bear, Barbra, and the Richards, can you provide a link or two to the instruments that you are considering?

...this stuff fascinates me, as well. I have been toying with various software that will interpret data from such machines, but my efforts are directed at developing a system that doesn't require machines of that expense. That is not to say that Xmas may bring one my way, too!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:28 pm 
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Sure can, nothing in particular yet, though. Coming up with a system that can get the job done with less $$$ sounds like a heavy task. I'll have to ask a few other folks if they've done anything successful in that area. Sounds like its worth the pursuit.

if you want to feel like you're purchasing equipment used in the original star trek!
http://www.tescan-usa.com/

Or maybe you like the new millenium?
http://www.smt.zeiss.com/

Want me to stop telling you where to look around?
http://www.microscopy.info/microscope/e ... g/ebsd.htm


sites that list their prices are nice:
http://www.microscope-store.com/index.php/cPath/1
http://www.labx.com/v2/newad.cfm?CatID=4
http://www.labx.com/v2/adsearch/detail3 ... umb=270162
http://www.ixrfsystems.com/products.html
(the last is probably the only thing you actually wanted, Ux4)

But since I have time on my hands....

Here's PennStates about TEM --Transmission Electron Microscopy (yikes ... let's look at dust!) Not to mention a second mortgage, an additional room in the house to put the thing in... If somehow my cat ever came near that one, she'd want to pee on it faster than I can say nanometer.
http://www.mri.psu.edu/mcl/techniques/tem.asp

"Typical applications

phase identification and separation
analysis of defect structures and interactions
crystallographic studies which require sample tilting
evaluation of beam-sensitive materials.
chemical analysis at the sub-10 nm level
characterization of microstructures, defects and chemical compositions on various materials, such as electronic ceramics, alloys, minerals and glasses
layer thickness, interface quality of thin films
morphology and chemical composition of nm particles
magnetic and electronic field images "

I bookmarked this one from that site:
http://www.mri.psu.edu/mcl/techniques/a ... nd-tem.pdf
If you ever feel like reading up on nanocrystalline diamond in Ru-Doped DLC films, it's a keeper!

Here's PennState on Scanning Electron microscopy (SEM)
http://www.mri.psu.edu/mcl/techniques/sem.asp
Which actually, that's more closer to dust. (the warning message for the ESEM training manual was funny -- until I found that it was there for a reason!)

For the SEM novice to fanatic:
http://www.brookes.ac.uk/geology/sem/sem1.html

OK, now that that's out of the way ... thoughts/feelings?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:23 pm 
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cheapest version is to send it off ...
http://kp.parse.com/~kaygeedee/EDS.html
http://www.cannonmicroprobe.com/mineral ... cation.htm
"Kerry Day (the first) is cheapest but only semi-quantitative; Bart Cannon is more expensive but can give more detailed dats" --DR

http://www.mri.psu.edu/mcl/techniques/eds.asp
http://www.excaliburmineral.com/analysis.htm


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:46 pm 
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Cinnabar- HOLYMOLY. Those are some fairly heavy duty pcs of equipment you are looking into.

From what I have read you are looking at obtaining many tens of thousands of dollars in high tech equipment, and yet you are unsure of what type of applications you will place upon them?!

I take it you have all the prerequisite gem instrumentation and training already? ....and are looking to expand testing capabilities?

There are several types of energy dispersive equipment that could cover various applications. What do you want to detect?

Crystallography, gemology and mineralogy are all different branches of science. You may want to even study chemistry if you are going to go into the advanced gemological field.

But I would highly recommend defining what you want to do with all of the equipment first. If you have made a decision on purchasing spectroscopic equipment you will then need to be prepared to spend an inordinate amount of time learning spectroscopy and how to interpret the tons of mysterious data that will follow.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:39 pm 
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Jeez ... I replied to your post and hit the submit button before I realized I had pinged out somehow ... So, I'll just summarize...

Nah, haven't been trained to use SEM or EDS for gems specifically. I did learn a decent bit about them in my college years. No TEM, though.

I wasn't thinking about the second mortgage type equipment. Highly doubt that would ever be possible -- more realistic would be to rent time to use that stuff in a lab.

Right now I'm more on the lines of sending specimens off. Haven't done that yet though, but it's rather affordable. Not expecting to detect any carbon! And the kind of scope I was entertaining was more like the one found in the second LABx link. I'm tired, so I'll fill in the blanks later.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:15 pm 
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Cinnibar...

...where did you see a SEM or a scope with EDS for $3000? Did you mean $30,000?

...only a rock candy Xmas for me, I'm afraid.


...EDITED...just saw your last response C'bar so I'll look back at that link and your last post

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:56 am 
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Heh, I'm good at sounding like an ass, aren't I Bear? A girl can (conveniently) forget a zero here and there, can't she?

SEM training isn't so hard, actually. No PreReqs needed to go into training, and it should take only 6 months. After that you can rent out the lab with all the goodies by the hour, which is a fairly nice deal. If that helps any, Ux4.

But before I get into formal training, I'm willing to pitch in 5 bucks per specimen (up to 2mm) for a data analysis from someone who won't blow themselves up amidst all the chemicals. (just imagine, here lies Cinnabar, she apparently liked experimenting with liquid nitrogen, but never did like to complete chemistry courses) Nah, I don't plan on expanding my chemistry background any further than what's absolutely necessary. Those emotionally unstable chemist types don't need yet another willing member.

And I'll tell you exactly what I'll do with that equipment -- I'll study the hell out of it and devour myself into my own techno euthoria until I begin to forget I ever knew the word gemology. But I'll remember minerals, most likely and start from there. Probably cinnabar, but maybe you could've guessed that. Then after, keep going on alloys. Eventually my hair will go white, but I'll still be messing around with EDS and whatever else pops up between now and mid century. But hey, at least I could say I studied microstructures of what I love and am obsessed with for a blessed half a century. That hardly seems like it ought to be denied, when put that way.

I don't believe there is such a thing as EDS microscope -- totally different scope principals, and is secondary (attachment) to SEM. Nevertheless, SEM does have some sweet software that I'm sure you'd really enjoy. Also, I don't know why, but the second labx link brought me to a totally different microscope. Not sure if I bookmarked the wrong one or ...? But the second *post* has links to where you can send off specimens (cheapest scenario), and within the original you'll find labs to rent (around $50.)

Now, I need to go toy shopping.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:56 am 
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Cinnibar...

...sounds like a great plan to me. Like something that I might do. I was really excited about that $3000 SEM and really confused with the EDS m'scope. I do have some software that will handle SEM images, just not the SEM. They would sell a lot more of those dam things priced at $3000.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:29 pm 
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Cinnabar-

You're not sounding like an ass at all. One thing I admire about both you and Ux4 is this raw zeal at the challenges and discoveries that await you. Things that you can and will accomplish when you set your minds to it. The world is your oyster, just remember to consume only on months with an R in it.

Just remember that when you get this equipment that you allow us to come and play with it too.

And yes, a girl is allowed to ignore a zero here and there. In fact it is their prerogative to change their minds if they want to. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 3:00 am 
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That gave me an idea -- I could start a B&B with access to the SEM. Too bad FL lacks commercial mines, that would add a nice touch. I wonder how quickly that would pay for the SEM though! Except in that situation, I just might conveniently add a zero to the final total...


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