compared several different options and selected the Spectrum™ One FT-IR spectrometer and AutoIMAGE microscope from PerkinElmer, Shelton, Connecticut. “One reason that I selected both the AutoIMAGE and Spectrum One was that they provide a coherent system that makes it possible to seamlessly move from analyzing larger samples on the workbench to analyzing smaller samples on the microscope using similar methods and producing comparable spectra,” Morlok said. “While several competitive instru- ments have minimum sample sizes of 25 µm by 25 µm, the AutoIMAGE’s
superior sensitivity and optical per- formance generates clear spectra from samples as small as 10 µm by 10 µm.” The AutoIMAGE is also unique is its class by offering all three modes of IR sampling as standard: 1) transmission mode for films, laminates, fibers and crystals 2) reflectance mode for surfaces and thin films on reflective surfaces and 3) micro ATR for highly absorbing samples such as black rubber, filled polymers and paper.
Morlok has already identified a number of crystalline silica spectra from his meteorite samples that were seen in the cosmos but never in terrestrial samples. Despite the
progress he has made, the road ahead is long. Tiny changes in che- mical composition, morphology, and temperature and pressure at time of formation can generate spectral differences so astrophysi- cists are continually adding to the list of unidentified spectra. Yet Morlok believes that the efficient methods he has developed will make it possible to rapidly build his database of known spectra, contributing to our knowledge of how the earth was formed.
For more information about PerkinElmer and the AutoIMAGE microscope, please visit the com- pany’s website at www.perkinelmer. com/irmicroimaging
Figure 3. An Infrared image of the circum- stellar disk around the young star Beta Pictoris (edge on view, (C) European Southern Ob- servatory).
Figure 4. A scanning electron microscope image of a CAI (irregular shaped thing in the center) and matrix material (fine grained material around it).
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