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Geological facilities

Multiple techniques for the analysis of geological samples.

Geological lab
Stone cutting facility

Geological lab

Various spectrometers and X-ray techniques are used to characterize minerals (formed by biological and geological processes), rocks, meteorites, 'meteorwrongs', gemstones and pearls.

1. Diamond view. Using short-wave UV radiation, crystalline growth zones in transparent materials can be made visible. Thus it can be determined if e.g. diamond originated naturally or was synthesized.
2. Raman-spectroscope. Is used to obtain much information about chemical bonds and structures, including pigments, in gems and (bio)minerals such as coral and pearls.
3. Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR). Complementary to Raman spectroscopy. Can be used to determine whether, for instance, a gem has been treated to influence the color or clarity. This is one way to decide what material (polymer, resin or oil) has been used to fill the natural fissures in emeralds.

4. Faxitron. To digitally screen, for instance, collection material with a thickness of 0.1 to 30 millimeter. In this way the presence of a fossil in a stone or the internal structures of insects can be studied.
5. X-ray diffraction. A device with two X-ray tubes; is used for research on pearls (Laue diffraction method) and the identification of minerals (powder diffraction method).

6. X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF). This method can be used to decide which chemical elements are present within a mineral or rock. Thus, for instance, the origin of the object can be determined.
7. UV/VIS-spectroscope. Is used to characterize the absorption, transmission and reflection of light and UV-radiation by pigments and coatings.

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Stone cutting facility

This facility offers the possibility to saw and polish thin sections out of rocks, mainly for paleontological and petrological studies.

1. Vacuum bell jar. Is used for impregnating porous materials.
2. Polishing tables. For grit sizes 1200, 600 and 220.
3. Sawing machine. Cuts grinding plates down to a thickness of 3 millimeters.
4. Computerized saw. Is used for rough cutting of materials for further processing. The saw diameter can be 50 or 75 centimeters.

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For more information about our Geological facilities, please contact Arjen Speksnijder, Head of Laboratories