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A rapid and largely non destructive technique to gain an initial characterisation of sample to inform subsequent processing or a standalone technique to yield information on the composition and molecular structure of a sample.

A Jobin Yvon Labram HR laser Raman microprobe equipped with 3 lasers (514nm Ar ion, 632nm HeNe and a 785nm diode) is used to investigate the mineralogy and organic nature of a wide range of materials. Additional characterisation of samples can be performed on a Craic Micro spectrophotometer operating equipped with both transmitted and reflected illumination and able to collect spectra from 200 to 900nm on 2 micron spots. This instrument is currently used to characterise materials expected in remote planetary environments and in the study of unknown features seen in astronomical observations. Both instruments are housed in dedicated laboratories within the clean petrography suite – minimising contamination that may compromise any subsequent analyses of the samples by other techniques. Supporting these instruments are petrographic and stereoscopic microscopes equipped with high resolution digital cameras, micro-manipulator/micro-dissector, etc.

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