Fast 2D Laser-Induced Fluorescence Spectroscopy Mapping of Rare Earth Elements in Rock Samples.


Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Chemnitzer Str. 40, 09599 Freiberg, Germany. [Email]


Due to the rapidly increasing use of energy-efficient technologies, the need for complex materials containing rare earth elements (REEs) is steadily growing. The high demand for REEs requires the exploration of new mineral deposits of these valuable elements, as recovery by recycling is still very low. Easy-to-deploy sensor technologies featuring high sensitivity to REEs are required to overcome limitations by traditional techniques, such as X-ray fluorescence. We demonstrate the ability of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) to detect REEs rapidly in relevant geological samples. We introduce two-dimensional LIF mapping to scan rock samples from two Namibian REE deposits and cross-validate the obtained results by employing mineral liberation analysis (MLA) and hyperspectral imaging (HSI). Technique-specific parameters, such as acquisition speed, spatial resolution, and detection limits, are discussed and compared to established analysis methods. We also focus on the attribution of REE occurrences to mineralogical features, which may be helpful for the further geological interpretation of a deposit. This study sets the basis for the development of a combined mapping sensor for HSI and 2D LIF measurements, which could be used for drill-core logging in REE exploration, as well as in recovery plants.


imaging sensor,laser-induced fluorescence,optical spectroscopy,rare earth elements,reflectance spectroscopy,

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