For instance, imaging the cathodoluminescence emission from fast electrons can be used as a prescreening tool for high-resolution secondary-ion-mass spectrometry (SIMS) to image the zonation pattern and identify regions of interest for isotope analysis.
This is done using an integrated cathodoluminescence and scanning electron microscope.
In geological settings, the development of pink, red, and purple zircon occurs after hundreds of millions of years, if the crystal has sufficient trace elements to produce color centers.
Color in this red or pink series is annealed in geological conditions above temperatures of around 400°C.), one of the most refractory materials known.
Other applications include use in refractories and foundry casting and a growing array of specialty applications as zirconia and zirconium chemicals, including in nuclear fuel rods, catalytic fuel converters and in water and air purification systems.