X-ray Service: Rocks and Minerals

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  • Physical Sciences

Dr. Francisco Javier Sangüesa - Phone: 94 601 3574 - e-mail: franciscojavier.sanguesa@ehu.es

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Only two types of user may access the facilities offered by the Service: Technical Service Personnel: carry out both routine experiments and those of greater complexity. Help to draft reports. Authorised users. Will be able to carry out special experiments. Efectuar experimentos especiales. The X-ray Service may used by researchers from University Colleges, Technology Centres and Companies, etc. Routine and special experiments can be carried out, in addition to analyses of results. The Service Personnel can in any event advise you about the most suitable experiments and conditions for each problem. Requests for work must be addressed to the Service Personnel. For further information about legislation, radio protection and licences, etc., please visit the website of the Nuclear Security Council (http://www.csn.es) General rules Access to the unit of X-rays: Molecules and Materials involves meeting the requirements set forth in the Protocol for access to SGIker and the services it provides.


he General X-ray Service of the University of the Basque Country/EHU attempts to provide support for basic and applied research in, among others, the different areas of knowledge of Geological Science, Chemistry, Materials Science, Aeronautics, Pharmacy, Biochemistry, Archaeology, Palaeontology, Anthropology and Environmental Science, in addition to helping to provide a service in the fields of Construction, Mining Prospecting and Civil Engineering. Researchers may also access the service from the Basque Network of Science and Technology, and it is available to other researchers outside the UPV/EHU, and other public and private institutions - both national and international. Analysis of Rocks and Minerals Unit: carries out the mineralogical and geochemical analysis of rocks, minerals, soils, industrial and building materials, and remains of archaeological and palaeontological interest, etc. It has at its disposal equipment for the preparation of samples and the analysis of materials via petrographic studies, fluorescence and/or x-ray diffraction, and analysis of clay fraction, etc.


- Measuring diffractograms under optimum conditions for the purposes requested. - Identifying minerals or other crystalline phases, estimating the crystal size using diffractograms, specific clay mineralogical analysis by means of orientated aggregate DRX. - Chemical analysis of majority elements and trace element in geological and similar samples, including calcination loss. - Scientific advisory service in order to combine the results obtained in this Service with those from other complementary analytical techniques. - Petrographic studies of thin sections of rock samples for external advisory services. - Redirection and issuing result reports. - Training by means of specific services in conjunction with the Molecules and Materials Unit. Educational support for various degrees and Master's degrees.


University of the basque country UPV/EHU Joxe Mari Korta Building, Gipuzkoa Campus Avda. Tolosa, 72 20018 Donostia-San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa) Science and Technology faculty CD3 Building B Sarriena, s/n, 48940 Leioa (Bizkaia)

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This unit has at its disposal the equipment necessary to suitably prepare samples for their subsequent analysis using available techniques. The analytical techniques basically include mineralogical analysis using x-ray diffraction (XRD), the chemical analysis of geological materials or similar via x-ray fluorescence (XRF), the specific chemical analysis of minerals using electronic microprobe and the petrographic characterization of rocks. Below are listed some of the applications of the studies that are carried out: - Identification of minerals and other crystalline phases in samples of rock, soil, palaeontological and archaeological remains (pottery, bones, teeth, etc.), and industrial and building materials (dry goods, ornamental rocks, mortars, bricks, fireproof materials, etc.), including determining the presence of asbestos. - Mineralogical and lithogeochemical studies for application in mining: prospecting of mineral deposits, mineralogical characterization of minerals from clay and industrial rocks, characterization of ore, prior studies for the recovery of ponds and slag heaps, etc. - Separation of fine fractions and determining of clay mineralogy in sedimentary and hydrothermal rocks, soils, and geotechnical probes, etc. - Petrographic studies of dry goods and natural stone, in accordance with UNE standards. The X-ray Service also offers advice for obtaining better performance in the measures to be taken, in addition to optimizing experiments. In the event of specific problems that are unable to be solved using available resources, assistance will be provided in filing the requests for proposals for measures in large supranational installations (sources of synchroton radiation and/or neutron beams).


Operates using Theta-2Theta geometry and is equipped with secondary monochromator, variable opening diffraction aperture and 35 sample charger.
Philips PW1710
Equipped with Image Foil detection system. Can operate using Debye or transmission geometry.
Huber model 670
Equipped with two Theta-2Theta goniometers that operate independently, share a single source of x-rays and are equipped with secondary monochromator. One goniometer is used for high temperature measurements (Anton Paar HTK16 camera). The second goniometer operates with an automatic 15-position charger.
Philips X'Pert, MPD
Enables work to be carried out using flat samples (transmission) or with hairs. Equipped with a detector that is sensitive to the 6º aperture position. Its measured interval starts at 0.6º2Theta.
Operates with Theta-2Theta geometry. Equipped with a Vårio (CuKa 1) primary monochromator and an SolX solid detector with energy discrimination optimized for such radiation. Can work with automatic charger of flat samples, transmission geometry or samples in hair.
Bruker D8 Advance Vårio
Operates with Theta-Theta geometry. Used for non-environmental measurements at high temperature (HTK2000 camera) or low temperature (MRI Wide Range camera). Equiiped with a Vantec ultra-fast detector with maximum 6º aperture
Bruker D8 Advance Vantec
Four-circle Kappa diffractometer equipped with a CCD Shappire 2 detector and an Enhance device that increases the x-ray intensity given off by the tube. Equipped with a Helojet low temperature system (from 15K) and high temperature RKD Hotjet system (up to 259ºC).
Oxford Diffraction Xcalibur 2
Two-circle diffractometer equipped with imaging plate detector of 340 mm in diameter and great signal/noise ratio. The possibility of rotating the complete goniometer enables very high Bragg angles to be accessed (up to 137º in 2Theta). Its geometry enables devices to be adapted in order to vary the environmental conditions of the measurements.
Stoe IPDS 2T
Equipped with low temperature accessory up to 80K.
Precesión (Huber) and Weissenberg (Stoe)
Sequential wavelength dispersive spectrometer. Equipped with automated 30-positiion sample changer. Also equipped with 8 analyzer crystals and flow and sparkle detectors, being possible to analyse from fluorine
Philips PW1480
Microfluorescence spectrometer for specific qualitative analysis of hand sample (from sulphur). Does not require preparation of the sample and is recoverable. Equipped with a solid state detector. The minimum size of the surface to be analysed is 0.2 x 0.62 mm.
Ficherscope XDAL
Permits specific analysis of minerals and materials in polished section. Configured with four TAP, LIF, PET and PC1 crystal analyzers for analysis of both light and heavy and larger elements and traces.
Cameca Microbeam MBX
HERZOG HSM100 Widia disc oscillating mill. HERZOG HTP 40 mechanical press. PERL'X3 bead machine. Emitex metallyzer (carbon). Struers Planopol-V and DP10 polishers. Kubota KS-800 and 8410 centrifuges Olympus SZX 16 magnifying glass. Olympus KL1500 LCD cold light source. Oxford Cryostream low temperature system.
HERZOG HSM100 Widia disc oscillating mill. HERZOG HTP 40 mechanical press. PERL'X3 bead machine. Emitex metallyzer (carbon). Struers Planopol-V and DP10 polishers. Kubota KS-800 and 8410 centrifuges Olympus SZX 16 magnifying glass. Olympus KL1500 LCD cold light source. Oxford Cryostream low temperature system.
- Crystallographic data bases under licence: JCPDS (crystallographic data obtained from polycrystalline samples), ICSD and CSD (structural information about inorganic and organic composites). - Crystallographic programmes: All those required for the control, measurement, reduction and treatment of data, and analysis of results.