Analytical scanning transmission electron microscopy has been successfully used to characterize the structure and composition of lamellar exsolution products in pyroxenes. At operating voltages of 100 and 200 keV, microanalytical techniques of x-ray energy analysis, convergent-beam electron diffraction, and lattice imaging have been used to chemically and structurally characterize exsolution lamellae only a few unit cells wide. Quantitative X-ray energy analysis using ratios of peak intensities has been adopted for the U.S. Geological Survey AEM in order to study the compositions of exsolved phases and changes in compositional profiles as a function of time and temperature. The quantitative analysis procedure involves 1) removal of instrument-induced background, 2) reduction of contamination, and 3) measurement of correction factors obtained from a wide range of standard compositions. The peak-ratio technique requires that the specimen thickness at the point of analysis be thin enough to make absorption corrections unnecessary (i.e., to satisfy the "thin-foil criteria"). In pyroxenes, the calculated "maximum thicknesses" range from 130 to 1400 nm for the ratios Mg/Si, Fe/Si, and Ca/Si; these "maximum thicknesses" have been contoured in pyroxene composition space as a guide during analysis. Analytical spatial resolutions of 50-100 nm have been achieved in AEM at 200 keV from the composition-profile studies, and analytical reproducibility in AEM from homogeneous pyroxene standards is ?? 1.5 mol% endmember. ?? 1982.
Additional publication details
Analytical electron microscopy in mineralogy; exsolved phases in pyroxenes