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Abstract

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, glauconi-tic 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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