Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Optimizing Electron Backscatter Diffraction of Carbonate Biominerals—Resin Type and Carbon Coating

  • Alberto Pérez-Huerta (a1) and Maggie Cusack (a1)

Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) is becoming a widely used technique to determine crystallographic orientation in biogenic carbonates. Despite this use, there is little information available on preparation for the analysis of biogenic carbonates. EBSD data are compared for biogenic aragonite and calcite in the common blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, using different types of resin and thicknesses of carbon coating. Results indicate that carbonate biomineral samples provide better EBSD results if they are embedded in resin, particularly epoxy resin. A uniform layer of carbon of 2.5 nm thickness provides sufficient conductivity for EBSD analyses of such insulators to avoid charging without masking the diffracted signal. Diffraction intensity decreases with carbon coating thickness of 5 nm or more. This study demonstrates the importance of optimizing sample preparation for EBSD analyses of insulators such as carbonate biominerals.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J.H.E. Cartwright & A.G. Checa (2007). The dynamics of nacre self-assembly. J R Soc Interface 4, 491504.

A.G. Checa , T. Okamoto & J. Ramírez (2006). Organization pattern of nacre in Pteriidae (Bivalvia: Mollusca) explained by crystal competition. Proc R Soc B 273, 13291337.

M. Cusack , Y. Dauphin , P. Chung , A. Pérez-Huerta & J-P. Cuif (2008a). Multiscale structure of calcite fibres of the shell of the brachiopod Terebratulina retusa. J Struct Biol 164, 94100.

P. Dalbeck & M. Cusack (2006). Crystallography (electron backscatter diffraction) and chemistry (electron probe microanalysis) of the avian eggshell. Crys Growth Des 6, 25582562.

P. Dalbeck , J. England , M. Cusack , M.R. Lee & A.E. Fallick (2006). Crystallography and chemistry of the calcium carbonate polymorph switch in M. edulis shells. Eur J Min 18, 601609.

D.P. Field (1997). Recent advances in the application of orientation imaging. Ultramicroscopy 67, 19.

A. Pérez-Huerta & M. Cusack (2008). Common crystal nucleation mechanism in shell formation of two morphologically distinct calcite brachiopods. Zoology 111, 915.

W.W. Schmahl , E. Griesshaber , R. Neuser , A. Lenze , R. Job & U. Brand (2004). The microstructure of the fibrous layer of terebratulide brachiopod shell calcite. Eur J Min 16, 693697.

A.J. Schwartz , M. Kumar & B.L. Adams (2000). Electron Backscatter Diffraction in Materials Science. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • ISSN: 1431-9276
  • EISSN: 1435-8115
  • URL: /core/journals/microscopy-and-microanalysis
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *