Three-dimensional imaging of sulfides in silicate rocks at submicron resolution with multiphoton microscopy
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We report the first application of multiphoton microscopy (MPM) to generate three-dimensional (3D) images of natural minerals (micron-sized sulfides) in thick (~120 µm) rock sections. First, reflection mode (RM) using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), combined with differential interference contrast (DIC), was tested on polished sections. Second, two-photon fluorescence (TPF) and second harmonic signal (SHG) images were generated using a femtosecond-laser on the same rock section without impregnation by a fluorescent dye. CSLM results show that the silicate matrix is revealed with DIC and RM, while sulfides can be imaged in 3D at low resolution by RM. Sulfides yield strong autofluorescence from 392 to 715 nm with TPF, while SHG is only produced by the embedding medium. Simultaneous recording of TPF and SHG images enables efficient discrimination between different components of silicate rocks. Image stacks obtained with MPM enable complete reconstruction of the 3D structure of a rock slice and of sulfide morphology at submicron resolution, which has not been previously reported for 3D imaging of minerals. Our work suggests that MPM is a highly efficient tool for 3D studies of microstructures and morphologies of minerals in silicate rocks, which may find other applications in geosciences. © Copyright Microscopy Society of America 2011.
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