Academic Geoscience Research

Petrology, Geochemistry and Rock Characterization

Understanding the processes that form and transform rocks are foundational to the geological sciences. Bruker’s analytical tools empower the study of minerals, textures and spatially-resolved geochemistry from the hand sample to the sub-grain scale.

Petrologic Characterization

Petrologic Characterization

Bruker analytical tools allow characterization of geologic materials at centimeter to sub-micron scales. From stand-alone instrumentation to detectors for scanning electron microscopy, a fundamental understanding of mineralogical, textural and geochemical distributions in samples has never been more powerful. 

Mineral & Textural Characterization

Mineral & Textural Characterization

AMICS mineral map of garnet-mica schist

Accurate identification and characterization of the spatial distribution of minerals within rocks provides the basis upon which the fundamental processes of rock formation are understood. Depending on the task, characterization may be needed on hand sample, single-grain, and sub-grain scales, and with the need to correlate mineral chemistry with textural relationships. Bruker products cross these scales and data needs with products such as:

  • M4 TORNADO and M4 TORNADOPLUS allow rapid mapping of minimally prepared samples allowing determination of mineral species and textural distributions in solid and granulated samples, with mineral chemistry measured down to ppm levels 

  • QUANTAX detectors for scanning electron microscopes, including EDS, WDS and EBSD, providing comprehensive structural and compositional data on any solid sample to sub-micron scales

  • AMICS automated mineralogy solution for scanning electron microscopes and micro-XRF, driving rapid mineral identification and characterization for wide ranging applications in geoscience and geological engineering 

  • D2 PHASER, D8 DISCOVER and D8 ADVANCE range of X-ray Diffraction solutions covering all applications and needs from compact, benchtop instruments to high-resolution single-crystal characterization.

  • SKYSCAN 1275 and SKYSCAN 1273 X-ray microscopes enable visualization and quantification of the 3D mineral distribution in solid and granulated samples

Spatially Resolved Geochemistry

Spatially Resolved Geochemistry at the Hand-sample Scale by Micro-XRF

M4 TORNADO µXRF map of a c. 3.0 Ga stromatolite; field of view is 60 cm across

Visualization of major, minor and trace elements in a rock underpin our understanding of many geologic processes.  Typically confined to the scale of thin sections or below, rapid characterization of geochemical zoning in larger samples provides additional context to further investigation, allowing more robust sub-sampling decisions for other analytical approaches, and potentially reducing the total number of samples analyzed by more expensive techniques. Bruker products that allow visualization of geochemistry include:  

  • M4 TORNADO micro-XRF providing geochemical mapping of large samples and detection down to 10's of ppm, leading to accurate characterization of geochemical distribution in any solid sample, and quantification of bulk geochemistry through integration of map data. 

  • M4 TORNADOPLUS is a micro-XRF optimized for enhanced light element detection, with large-area light element SDD detectors and capability for analysis under vacuum and a He atmosphere, allowing element detection down to C. 

  • XTrace–QUANTAX micro-XRF, which upgrades an SEM to allow trace element analysis on the same instrument. High-speed mapping using XTrace is possible when coupled with the Rapid Stage, a modular piezo-based system that mounts directly onto a standard SEM stage. 

Bulk-rock Geochemistry

Bulk-rock Geochemistry by ED-XRF and WD-XRF

Whole-rock geochemistry is an integral component of research into geologic processes, where accurate major, minor and trace element chemistry is a must. Bruker provides a full range of Energy Dispersive and Wave Dispersive XRF solutions that suit every application and analytical need.

  • TRACER handheld-XRF and CTX portable benchtop ED-XRF instruments provide portable and compact solutions at affordable budgets while not compromising on performance 

  • S2 PUMA high capacity benchtop ED-XRF units can analyze from C to Am, with sample changer systems holding up to 20 samples

  • S6 JAGUAR compact WD-XRF provide high-performance bulk geochemical performance in a compact format, while the S8 TIGER sequential WD-XRF allows major and trace element analyses in a single run. 



AMICS Image of accessory minerals over BSE underlay

Advances in our understanding of geologic processes have demonstrated the need for, and benefits derived from, knowing the textural context of dateable minerals in rocks. Commonly the minerals used for geochronology are accessories – fine-grained and low abundance – leading to significant effort and resources expended on locating them in thin sections or mineral separates. Micro-XRF and SEM-based automated mineralogy solutions can speed up this process, correctly identifying minerals and placing them in their textural-mineralogical context. 

  • M4 TORNADO micro-XRF allows geochemical mapping of large samples providing mineral distributions by geochemical proxy or directly through application of Bruker's AMICS automated mineralogy solution

  • AMICS for scanning electron microscopes provides automated mineralogical mapping of thin sections and polished grain mounts, with focused detection of key minerals and compositional quantification for robust classification

Vibrational Spectroscopy

Vibrational Spectroscopy

MicroRaman spectroscopy

Point analysis and mapping of mineral structure and composition, discriminating polymorphs or chemically similar but structurally different minerals, with spectral reference libraries allowing rapid and routine characterization and OPUS™ software optimizing spectral matching. 

FT-IR Spectroscopy

Chemical structure at the molecular scale where elemental data alone is insufficient, including organic matter characterization, prosody and permeability studies, analysis of glasses, fluid and melt inclusions. 

En savoir plus

Webinars on Petrology, Geochemistry and Rock Characterization

July 8, 2020

Seeing the world through other eyes

Scanning micro-XRF has developed into a highly informative analytical tool for the study of complex samples across multiple disciplines.
Multiscale in-situ non-destructive micro-XRF scanning analysis
May 19, 2020

Multiscale in-situ non-destructive micro-XRF scanning analysis

The micro-analysis of geological samples is common practice to obtain valuable information, for example in mineral exploration and process mineralogy.
The annular SDD XFlash® FlatQUAD is ideally suited for the analysis of topographically complex, three-dimensional and beam sensitive samples.
May 28, 2020

Fast, Accurate and Precise Quantification Results Using an Annular Silicon Drift Detector: Bruker’s XFlash FlatQUAD

The annular SDD XFlash® FlatQUAD is ideally suited for the analysis of topographically complex, three-dimensional and beam sensitive samples.
September 4, 2018

Advanced Data Mining in Micro-XRF

In this webinar we will focus on 3 examples on how to get data out of a Hypermap data cube using different software features.
Analytical SEM Solutions for Geology - Part I
August 13, 2019

Analytical SEM Solutions for Geology - Part I

Join us for a webinar in two parts covering various aspects of scanning electron microscopy techniques (EDS, EBSD, CL) for geological applications.
The techniques are surface sensitive
September 10, 2019

Analytical SEM Solutions for Geology - Part II

Join the second part of this free webinar dealing with scanning electron microscopy techniques (EBSD, CL) for geological applications.
Bruker's M4 TORNADO is a tabletop Micro-XRF spectrometer.
May 16, 2019

Explore Micro-XRF in the Geosciences

Explore the exciting world of micro-XRF for Geology and get questions on the method answered by leading Micro-XRF experts.
April 25, 2019

Advanced Element Analysis of Geological Samples using QUANTAX WDS for SEM

Advantages of WDS for SEM for the analyses of geological samples.
March 14, 2019

Large Area High Resolution Maps of Geological Samples

In this webinar we present Hypermap analyses of geological samples relevant to various applications, e.g. economic geology, mineralogy etc.
Infrared and Raman Analysis of Geological Samples
November 9, 2018

Infrared and Raman Analysis of Geological Samples

Should I Lick my Crystal?
June 22, 2017

Should I Lick my Crystal?

Mineral identification in 5 minutes.
June 15, 2017

Latest advances in identifying mineral composition variation by the M4 TORNADO AMICS

The new M4 TORNADOAMICS spectrometer allows the creation of mineral maps from spatially resolved X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) signals.
Dec 15, 2016

AMICS — The Latest Software Package for Automated Identification and Quantification of Minerals and Synthetic Phases

The Advanced Mineral Identification and Characterization System (AMICS) is the latest software package for automated identification and quantification of minerals and synthetic phases. The key of this package lies in its innovative imaging and analysis software capabilities.

Produits connexes

Products for Petrology, Geochemistry and Rock Characterization

AMICS Mineral Software

AMICS Automated Mineralogy System for SEM

Automated rapid scanning for mineral and rock characterization by SEM

La famille D8 ADVANCE

Le D8 ADVANCE est un système modulable entièrement extensible répondant aux besoins analytiques des échantillons de poudre, de massifs et de couches minces, dans des conditions ambiantes et non-ambiantes.


Le nouveau D8 ENDEAVOR est un système avancé de Diffraction aux rayons X (XRD) pour les applications en poudre dans l’optimisation des procédés industriels et le contrôle de la qualité. Le système peut être utilisé seul dans un environnement multi-utilisateurs, ou intégré dans un environnement de laboratoire pour un fonctionnement entièrement automatisé.


Le meilleur diffractomètre de table au monde. La DRX pour tout, partout et pour tout le monde.

Recherche microscope IRTF: HYPERION

Microscopie infrarouge à la limite de la diffraction. Ce microscope IR modulaire adapté pour la recherche.
LUMOS II FT-IR Microscope with maximal and minimal configuration

Microscope FT-IR: LUMOS II

Dédié à l’analyse en microscopie rapide et facile et à l’imagerie ultra-rapide. Idéal pour l’analyse des défauts, l’analyse des particules et le QC.
High Performance micro-XRF spectrometer with Market-Leading Speed and Flexibility


High-performance micro-XRF for small spot (<20 µm spot size) and multi-layer analysis (12 selectable) providing composition and element distribution maps (2D area scans)
Bruker M4 TORNADO AMICS micro-XRF Automate Data Collection and Mineral Matching


M4 TORNADO AMICS is an innovative new approach to automated minerology using X-ray excitation to collect energy spectra for mineral matching.
M4 TORNADO PLUS µ-XRF BRUKER, With its super-light element detectors, the M4 TORNADO PLUS is the first micro-XRF scanner able to measure any element from No. 6 (carbon) upwards


The Revolutionary Super-Light Element micro-XRF Scanner
SENTERRA II Raman-Microscope standard

Microscope Confocal Raman: SENTERRA II

La référence μ-Raman en matière de commodité, de sécurité et de précision. Un outil axé sur les résultats pour une analyse micro chimique Raman fiable à 100 %.


Le microscope 3D à rayons X de table occupant peu d’espace dans un laboratoire, est simple d‘utilisation et offre une longue durée d’utilisation pour un faible coût d’entretien.


La cabine Nano-XRM avec une haute source d’énergie, une isolation avancée des vibrations et de multiples détecteurs offrant la plus grande polyvalence.


QUANTAX EBSD system with its popular OPTIMUS 2 detector head is the best available solution for analyzing nanomaterials in the SEM
XFlash 6/30 EDS detector


The Most Advanced EDS for Your SEM, FIB and EPMA
XTrace micro-spot X-ray source


Highly Elemental Sensitivity with Minimal Sample Prep
XSence WDS spectrometer


High precision instrument for ultra-sensitive, high resolution X-ray microanalysis in the low energy range.