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Acquisition of a Feg-Sem with EBSD and EDS systems at UNIL

English title Acquisition of a Feg-Sem with EBSD and EDS systems at UNIL
Applicant Teyssier Christian
Number 117402
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Institut de géologie et de paléontologie Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.11.2007 - 31.10.2008
Approved amount 300'000.00
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Keywords (8)

Orientation Imaging Microscopy; Scanning Electron Microscopy; EBSD; Microfabric; Texture Analysis; electron microscope; electron backscattered diffraction; orientation imaging facility

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
This project is to acquire a field-emission gun (FEG) scanning electron microscope (SEM), with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) capabilities to serve the research needs of a large fraction of the Institutes of Geology and Paleontology and Mineralogy and Geochemistry at the University of Lausanne. Matching funds from UNIL cover 50% of the cost of the facility and the University has also created a full-time technical position for an expert in the field of electron microscopy. Many of our research applications necessitate access to high-resolution microscopy (submicron sampling), justifying the purchase of a FEG microscope, and access to orientation imaging capability offered by the EBSD system. This equipment complements our existing electron microscopy lab in the Institute of Geology and Paleontology and is available to the science community in the rest of UNIL, at EPFL, in the Lemanic region, and beyond. The technical expert has the mission to train researchers on this new technology, and to ensure the broadest access of the facility to the scientific community.

A number of research directions will be enhanced by the proposed facility, and some new directions will be made possible. The proposed facility significantly impacts research in the fields of mineralogy, including biomineralogy, petrology, stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry, and structural geology and tectonics. High-resolution electron microscopy, coupled with EBSD and EDS systems, allows researchers to uncover chemical gradients in relation to crystal structure and address some of the most fundamental questions in solid Earth science, such as the part of equilibrium versus kinetic factors in mineral growth and reactions. The capability of automated measurements of crystallographic orientations at high angular and spatial resolution, in addition to more detailed information on defect structures and misorientation relationships at interfaces and phase boundaries, are all fundamental parcels of knowledge required before we can even think about equilibrium versus kinetic growth of minerals or partitioning of elements and isotopes. Similarly, the facility allows a better identification of intact biominerals versus diagenetically altered fossil shells, critical to paleoenvironmental and dating studies using carbon-, oxygen-, and strontium-isotope stratigraphy. We also expect a breakthrough in the understanding of fossil carbonate muds (micrites), especially with respect to their possible microbial origin. In the area of rock deformation, the mechanisms of deformation on subgrain scales become attainable with the proposed facility, and in particular the deformation of fine-grained rocks, such as micritic limestones, that are very common in the Alpine belt.

In summary, the facility and the expertise of a full-time technical scientist is an excellent investment for many areas of the broad geosciences. This laboratory will increase research productivity, enhance existing analytical facilities, and augment the visibity of Swiss research by attracting national and international scientists.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
117694 Rheology and permeability of extensional detachments 01.11.2007 Project funding (Div. I-III)