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Plataformas Científicas e Tecnológicas da Universidade de Coimbra

Coimbra Trace Analysis and Imaging Laboratory

 TAIL-UC is an analytical platform providing support for all R&D activities that require trace-level (sub ppm) quantification of elemental composition, complemented with high-resolution imaging. A wide range of wavelengths (from infrared to X-rays) is available for imaging and mapping that can be combined, simultaneously, with specific spectral information (hyper-spectral imaging).

This platform includes, in addition, other imaging techniques not using electromagnetic radiation, such as electronic, atomic force and scanning tunneling microscopies (SEM, AFM/STM), for characterization of samples in areas ranging from Materials Science and Nanotechnologies to Environmental and Earth Sciences. For elemental analysis, ultrasensitive (trace-level) techniques are available: mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and nuclear spectroscopies. Other instruments for sample preparation and materials characterization are available, such as XRD. Thus, going beyond elemental analysis, it is possible to identify and quantify compounds (both inorganic and organic) present in the samples.

The TAIL infrastructure is mostly aimed at interdisciplinary research. Modern forensic sciences or cultural heritage studies are good examples that make good use of these techniques.