Raman Microscope for Sustainable Inorganic Materials Management (Raman-SIM2)
The Raman-SIM2 project involves a Raman spectrometer coupled to a microscope (Raman microscope) that is specifically designed to study the mineral phases in geological and metallurgical samples, with emphasis on (low-grade) ores, metallurgical slags, mine tailings, geopolymers and industrial process residues. The main goal is the qualitative and quantitative characterization of inorganic materials (solids, liquids and gases) on micrometer-scale spatial resolution. Knowledge of the mineral phases will aid the development of new sustainable processes for recovery of critical and base metals from these solid materials. This Raman microscopy supports the research activities of the SIM² KU Leuven (SIM² = Sustainable Inorganic Materials Management) platform (http://kuleuven.sim2.be/ ). SIM² KU Leuven is the consortium of research groups at KU Leuven working on Sustainable Inorganic Materials Management. Raman spectroscopy is a light scattering technique. In its simplest form it can be thought of as a process where a photon of light interacts with a sample to produce scattered radiation of different wavelengths. Raman spectroscopy can be used to identify unknown compounds. It is very suitable for identification of inorganic materials and thus also for identification of mineral phases. Raman microscopy can analyze particles smaller than 1 micron which cannot be measured by FTIR.