Understand the composition and formation of geological materials

Study grains and cement in sedimentary rocks, observe changes in the chemical composition of zircons, and obtain insights into impurity distributions in gemstones with cathodoluminescence (CL).

Download white paper
What we can help you with
  • Provide access to unique textural information and contrast in your geological sample
  • Gain insights into the composition, history,  and provenance of rocks
  • Study inter-and intra-granular features
  • Image zonation and deformation features

Gain new insights into geological materials

The cathodoluminescence emission from a rock can provide insights into crystal growth, zonation, cementation, chemical replacement, deformation, provenance, trace elements, and defect structures. Use CL solutions to study geological specimens to fingerprint rocks and reveal interesting spatial textures on a submicron scale.

CL presents a valuable technique for fundamental sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rock studies but also for more applied studies on ores, precious gems, reservoir rocks, and construction materials. It is often combined with other analytical tools such as SIMS, BSE and EDS for a more complete understanding of rock properties.

Find out how we can help you in your specific field

What we can offer

Obtain unique spectroscopic and textural data from your sample

Get information that no other technique can obtain

FeatureIcon_CL_SVG_270x270_Analyse and Acquire data
Powerful hardware and software for in-depth analysis

Image your samples and quantitatively map the CL emission

FeatureIcon_CL_SVG_270x270_Imaging modes
Various imaging modes

Use large-area hyperspectral CL imaging to study spatially extended structures

FeatureIcon_CL_SVG_270x270_Customer support
Support of our application experts

Get the most of your CL system with the help of our application experts

Watch webinar

What results can I achieve with cathodoluminescence?

Cathodoluminescence (CL) is more and more frequently applied in the geosciences for studying various rock and mineral types. CL provides complementary contrasts to other EM techniques. In intensity mapping mode the technique is very fast and high-resolution images can be acquired in a matter of seconds. Large image mosaics can be made by making use of stage tiling. Hyperspectral CL imaging adds the possibility of acquiring high-resolution emission spectra that can be used for detailed characterization and identification of impurity or defect species for example.

LEA01 MediaResizeGeology_CL_RES LEA01 MediaResizeGeology_RES
SEM (right) and Panchromatic CL intensity (left) images of a zircon crystal. In the CL map the crystal zonation is clearly visible. Image courtesy of Siri Simonsen (University of Oslo)
Cam Davidson Carleton College

The large area mapping and stitching capabilities of the Delmic software are phenomenal. We make large area maps of our grain mounts that contain over a thousand zircons.

Prof. Cameron Davidson


Carleton College

Read case study

Send us your sample

Get your sample measured to see what a Delmic CL system can do. Or just call us: we are happy to answer any questions.

Book a meeting
Talk to Delmic expert