2003:7: Rose, Vander Wood
Microsc Microanal 9 (Suppl 2)
Platy mineral aspect ratios (average plate diameter divided by plate thickness) can play a governing role in behavior in industrial applications [1,2]. Conventional methods of measurement include manual techniques such as shadowing  or high tilt observation  in the scanning electron microscope. Automated measurement of particle diameter combined with measurement of electron scattering loss for measurement of plate thickness has been employed to measure the aspect ratio of platy minerals which are sufficiently thin to be electron transparent . Each of these techniques suffers from some drawback, either in the time required (for manual methods) or the expense of the equipment needed (for automated methods).
We report here a direct method of measuring platy particle aspect ratios using scanning white light interference microscopy (SWLIM). The technique can be applied to any platy particle with a diameter greater than about 3 micrometers. Particle thickness is not a limiting factor, with vertical resolutions below 10 nm possible.
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