inXitu Terra Used in the Discovery of a New Mineral

Field portable XRD analyzer deployed by Canadian researcher results in discovery of the new mineral Cranswickite.

inXitu Terra Used in the Discovery of a New Mineral
Campbell, CA, August 24, 2010 --( The International Mineral Association (IMA) has recently recognized the existence of a new mineral, discovered by Dr. Ronald Peterson of Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Using inXitu’s field portable X-ray diffractometer, Terra, Dr. Peterson discovered the new mineral during a research trip to Argentina. Quoting Peterson: “The identification of the new mineral, cranswickite, and the identification of the associated minerals were made possible by using “TERRA.” All of these hydrated magnesium sulfate minerals are soft white powders and are often mixtures. The ability to distinguish these minerals while conducting field work in the remote mountains of Argentina would not have been possible without a portable X-ray diffractometer. The use of a portable diffractometer on location in the field allowed efficient study of the mineral assemblage without returning to use a laboratory X-ray diffractometer.”

inXitu Inc. is a leader in portable XRD/XRF based instrumentation specializing in developing the technologies required to enable the next generation of scientific instruments used for materials analysis. The technology used in its portable rock and mineral analyzer received a prestigious R&D 100 award and was chosen to fly on the Mars Science Laboratory rover scheduled for launch in 2011.

The powder handling methods can dramatically improve the quality of XRD data while reducing the requirements for sample preparation. inXitu’s patented technique makes possible quality XRD data to be collected regardless of the grain size of the sample. Grain sizes up to 400 um have been tested producing data normally obtained with micron size particles.

Brad Boyer
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