EMU Notes in Mineralogy - volume 14
Minerals at the Nanoscale
(F. Nieto and K.J.T. Livi, editors)
Chapter 6. Clays in low-temperature environments
by Blanca Bauluz
Clays are characterized by their micron to submicron size and by genesis in low-temperature environments. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is an invaluable tool for analysing these minerals. The present chapter focuses mainly on some of the most significant clay groups: kaolin minerals, smectite-I-S-illite series, smectite-corrensite-chlorite series, glauconitic minerals, and fibrous clays. Representative examples are given of how these clays are observed under TEM and of the data that the technique can provide. The combination of high-resolution TEM images, selected area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns, and analytical electron microscopy (AEM) analysis allows the determination of clays and mixed-layer phases, polytypes and stacking disorder, crystal thickness distributions, chemical composition and compositional variations, image textural relations, and the origin and conditions of formation of clays.
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