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Digital Mineralogy Hub

The Digital Mineralogy Hub has access to a Tescan Integrated Mineral Analyzer (TIMA) – a fully automated, high throughput, analytical Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) for analysis of sample composition and morphology.


Fast and fully automated data acquisition via BSE and EDX integration. Secondary Electron (SE) and Colour Cathodoluminescence (CL) imaging are also possible.

TIMA has a broad range of capabilities, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Phase maps of the entire sample
  • Elemental maps (Carbon and higher atomic numbers)
  • Grain size statistics
  • Liberation and deportment information
  • Elemental and phase abundance statistics
Digital Mineralogy Hub


The TESCAN TIMA has a computer-controlled stage that carries specifically designed sample holders. Depending on the stage fitted, we can analyse, in the same sitting, either 22 resin mounts (25 mm), 15 resin mounts (30 mm) or 9 thin sections (48 mm by 28 mm or less). If your samples fall outside these parameters, please get in touch; we have a utility holder that may be able to accommodate small amounts of non-standard-sized samples.




Our TIMA is equipped with an ultra-fast YAG scintillator BSE detector, complemented with four EDAX Element 30 EDX detectors in a geometry optimised for fast X-ray data acquisition for high throughput analysis. While the use of BSE and EDX detectors is essential for each analysis, we also have the option of using our SE (Everhart-Thornley type, YAG crystal) or Compact rainbow CL detectors.

Electron microscopy

Sample Preparation

Samples for TIMA must be polished to allow for accurate mapping. The DMH has access to a sample preparation lab and can organise mounting, polishing and coating of your sample prior to TIMA analysis.


Element mapping
Element mapping