Use of a Portable XRF to Map Elemental Composition Responsible for Coloration in New Mexico Quartzes

Jordan Hernandez, Victor French, M.S., Jerry Godbout, Ph.D. University of New Mexico – Valencia 280 La Entrada Los Lunas, NM 87031

Semi-precious gemstones such as onyx, agate, jasper, etc. are opaque forms of microcrystalline and cryptocrystalline quartz. While pure quartz is colorless, the presence of various impurities, even at trace levels, is responsible for the color variety in these quartz-based gemstones. This variation in coloring is in fact responsible for the commercial value of these stones. X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful tool for non-destructive elemental analysis. We assess the utility of a portable XRF spectrophotometer as a tool to map the elemental composition of different-colored regions within several quartz samples. In the present study, XRF data is used to attribute certain color regions to specific elemental impurities and to explore mathematical techniques for mapping regions smaller than that of the beam diameter of the XRF spectrophotometer.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Jordan Hernandez, Victor French

Institution: University of New Mexico - Valencia Campus

Type: Poster

Subject: Chemistry

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 4
Date/Time: Tue 11:00am-12:00pm
Session Number: 3540