Cathodoluminescence is commonly used to pre-screen geological samples and combined with other SEM techniques for in-depth study. Various CL imaging modes can provide information on the structure of a rock, including its defects.
- interstitials, which happen when an atom is in the wrong place in the crystal lattice
- dislocations in the crystal structure
- defects that arise from the growth
- defects that arise from damage such as stress, compression from heating, tectonic movement or radioactive decay