The TIMA is a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) system that has been specifically designed for the mining and minerals processing industry. It has been built to provide automated mineralogical analysis of geological samples. It achieves this through the seamless integration of SEM and EDX hardware systems. Other detectors can be added such as the Rainbow CL colour detector which combines panchromatic and colour CL in a single unit and boats 4x higher sensitivity than other common CL detectors. This unique detector also allows the user to obtain BSE and EDX data with the CL data simultaneously, making it a cost-effective and space saving solution.
The TIMA offers three modes of mineralogical analysis:
1. Modal analysis
2. Liberation analysis
3. Bright phase search analysis
While the TIMA is offered in two platforms, the CSIRO have opted for the more powerful Schottky Field Emission Gun (FEG) variant based on the TESCAN MIRA FEG-SEM. To provide even greater flexibility, they have specified the GM model with larger sample chamber which houses the fast computer-controlled sample stage that caters for up to 15, 30mm samples.
This installation marks the second TESCAN SEM installed in Perth in 6 months, with Curtin University, Centre for Materials Research having installed a TESCAN MIRA FEG-SEM in December.