Work in the Thin Section Lab

The Geo Laboratory is equipped for a wide range of studies in marine sciences. Thin sections and SEM specimens can be prepared from a variety of geological and biological sample material for detailed ultra-structural studies and then analysed using the light microscope and SEM. The SEM is equipped with different detectors to examine material properties.

The facilities offer the possibility to investigate the composition of marine samples with a focus on biotic carbonate components (e.g. calcareous algae, bryozoans, echinoderms and molluscs). Moreover, the external and internal structure of individual skeletal components can be analyzed using X-ray microtomography techniques.

Technical assistance is provided for sample pre-treatment and preparation, like carbon coating or gold sputtering, as well as for analytical methods and data interpretation.


Laboratory equipment Application
Stone saw, linear precision saw and high-precision grinding machines porosity and material staining in thin sections
Sieving machine (Retsch LS200) for wet and dry sieving particle size analyses in the range of 63 μm to 2 mm
Laser particle sizer (Horriba LA950) particle size analyses in the range of 0.01 µm to 3 mm
Petrographic polarised light microscope (Leica DM-EP) with video support thin section analysis
Cressington Coater (carbon and gold coating) SEM sample preparation
Peltier cooling stage wet or cool SEM sample investigations
SEM (Tescan Vega 3 XMU) with secondary electron detector (SE) ultra-structural studies
Additional SEM equipment  
Backscatter electron diffraction detector (BSED) material composition
Oxford energy-dispersive X-ray detector (EDX) element composition
Low-vacuum mode delicate or wet sample analyses
Skyscan Micro-CT for SEM internal microstructure of samples <4 mm