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Laboratory multi-scale nano-CT scanner for 3D visualization and 4D experimentation in Earth and Material Sciences

Applicant Foubert Anneleen
Number 150731
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Département des Géosciences Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.05.2014 - 31.12.2015
Approved amount 320'000.00
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All Disciplines (6)

Discipline
Geology
Mineralogy
Geochemistry
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Material Sciences
Palaeontology

Keywords (3)

laboratory multi-scale nano-CT scanner; 3D visualization; 4D experimentation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Röntgen-Computertomographie hat sich besonders für die zerstörungsfreie 3D-Visualisierung interner Strukturen von Geomaterialien (Gesteine, Sediments, Böden, Minerale, Fossilien, und Meteorite, ...), aber auch für Untersuchung von industriellen Materialien, zu einer wichtigen Methode innerhalb der Erd- und Materialwissenschaften entwickelt. Moderne, makroskopische Röntgen-Computertomographen, die ihre Wurzeln aus der medizinischen Wissenschaft haben, weisen eine Auflösung von wenigen hundert Mikrometer (µm) auf. Jüngste, technologische Entwicklungen in der Röntgen- Computertomographie (z. B. die Entwicklung von Röntgenröhren mit einer Spotgröße kleiner 1 µm) erlauben die Darstellung von internen Strukturen auf einer Nanometern (nm) Skala, welches somit als ein wahres 3D-Mikroskop betrachtet werden kann.
Lay summary

Multi-Scale Nano-CT: von 3D-Visualisierungen im nm-Bereich zu 4D Experimenten

Die Beschaffung des vielseitigen Nano-Computertomographen an der Universität Freiburg erlaubt die 3D-Darstellung mit einer räumlichen Auflösung vergleichbar eines Synchrotron-Tomographen. Der Labor-Nano-Computertomograph Bruker-Skyscan 2211 erlaubt ebenso quasi-kontinuierliche Experimente (z. B. Fluidmigration, Messung der Permeabilität und Konnektivität, Ausfällungs- und Auflösungsexperimente) in vier Dimensionen bei hoher räumlicher Auflösung. Diese Untersuchungen über die Zeit und in situ sind von äußerster Wichtigkeit für die Geowissenschaften und bei der Materialforschung. Mit Hilfe des Multi-Scale Nano-CTs kann eine komplett neue 4D-Welt für zukünftige Forschungsinitiativen geöffnet werden.

Die hierarchische Analyse von Geomaterial wird besonders wichtig bei der Charakterisierung geophysikalischer Eigenschaften wie Porosität und Permeabilität in Sedimenten und Gesteinen. Hochskalierende Arbeitsschritte demonstrieren die Wichtigkeit der Auflösung des 3D-Datensatzes der berechneten Porosität: das Porositätsnetzwerk in großen Kernproben unterscheidet sich deutlich von kleineren Proben. Die Reservoireigenschaft in komplexen Karbonatgesteinen auf unterschiedlichen Skalen und bei unterschiedlicher Auflösung kann nur mit Hilfe des Computertomographen über die Berechnung des repräsentativen Elementarvolumens (REV) korrekt evaluiert werden. Das Potential des vielseitigen Nano-Computertomographen während des Scannens mit unterschiedlicher Auflösung (Wechsel der Röntgenröhre zwischen mikro- und nanofokus Einstellungen) wird die verbesserte Erprobung des Konzepts des repräsentativen Elementarvolumens ermöglichen. Des weiteren ist die vielschichtige Skalierungsfähigkeit des Bruker Skyscan 2211 bei hoher räumlicher Auflösung ein wahrer Gewinn. Die Notwendigkeit der 3D-Visualisierung auf unterschiedlichen und höheren Auflösungen auch für die Material- und Biowissenschaften gewinnt an Wichtigkeit.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.05.2014

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
X-ray computer tomography has become an important technique in Earth and Material Sciences, especially for the non-destructive 3D visualization of the internal structures of geomaterials (e.g. rocks, sediments, soils, minerals, fossils, and meteorites,..) but also for the inspection of industrial materials. Having its roots in medical sciences, modern macroscopic X-ray CT-scanners can achieve spatial resolutions of a few hundred microns. Recent technological developments in X-ray CT tomography (i.e. the development of X-ray tubes with spot sizes below 1 µm) allows visualizing even the internal structure of objects at sub-micron scale and can now be thought of as real 3D microscopes.
Lay summary

Multiscaled Nanotomography: from 3D visualization at nano-scale to 4D experimentation

The acquisition of a versatile laboratory multi-scaled nanotomograph within the Department of Geosciences at the University of Fribourg, will allow 3D visualization at a spatial resolution that is comparable to that of synchrotron tomography. The laboratory nanotomograph Bruker-Scyscan 2211 also allows performing quasi-continuous experiments (i.e. fluid-rock interaction, fluid migration, permeability and connectivity measurements, pressure tests, precipitation and dissolution experiments) in 4 dimensions at high spatial resolutions. These measurements through time and in-situ experiments are crucial in the geosciences and for material research. Through the use of a multi-scaled nanotomograph, a whole new 4D-world could be opened which will be crucial for future research initiatives.

The hierarchical analyses of geomaterials become really important when characterizing geophysical properties, such as porosity and permeability in sediments and rocks. Upscaling workflows demonstrate the importance of the resolution of the 3D datasets on the calculated porosity value. Porosity networks in large core samples and plug samples are clearly different. Only by calculating the Representative Elementary Volume (REV) at different scales and resolutions, reservoir properties in complex carbonate rocks can be now be evaluated correctly by means of CT-scanning. The potential of scanning at different resolutions with versatile nano-CT scanners (which allow switching the X-ray tubes between micro- and nano-focus modes) would enhance the possibility of exploring the concept of representative elementary volumes (REV). The multi-scaling capability of the Bruker-Skyscan 2211 at high spatial resolutions is a true asset. Also in material sciences and biological sciences, the need for visualization in 3D at different and higher spatial resolutions is gaining importance.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.05.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. F. Anselmetti - Research Group Quaternary Geology, Inst. of Geological Sciences, Uni. Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Christophe Lamy, Department of Medicine, University of Fribourg Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. L.W. Diamond - Research Group Rock-Water Interaction, Uni. Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. Jon Mosar - Research Group Structural Geology , University of Fribourg Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. S. Spezzaferri - Research Group Micropalaeontology, Dpt. of Geosciences, University of Fribourg Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Pierre Vonlanthen, Université de Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. R. Swennen, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Bruker-Skyscan Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof. Dr. A. Moscariello - Research Group Reservoir Geology, University of Geneva Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Stefan Krause, GEOMAR Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. U. Mäder - Research Group Rock-Water Interaction, Inst. of Geological Sciences, Uni. Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. B. Grobety - Research Group Mineralogy, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. V. Serneels - Research Group Geo-archaeology, Dpt. of Geosciences, University of Fribourg Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. Nico Bruns - AMI (Adolf Merkle Institute), University of Fribourg Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Goldschmidt 2016 Talk given at a conference Controls on CaCO3 Precipitation and Diagenesis in Terrestrial Hot Springs 26.06.2016 Yokohama, Japan Foubert Anneleen;
Goldschmidt 2016 Talk given at a conference In-Vitro Simulation of AOM Mediated Diagenesis in Cold-Water Coral Carbonate Mounds 26.06.2016 Yokohama, Japan Foubert Anneleen;
24th SwissSed Meeting Poster Recent and ancient continental carbonates in the Danakil basin (NE Afar, Ethiopia): Preliminary results 27.02.2016 Fribourg, Switzerland Foubert Anneleen;
24th SwissSed Meeting Poster Understanding the temporal and spatial variability of early diagenesis in cold-water coral carbonate mounds 27.02.2016 Fribourg, Switzerland Foubert Anneleen;
13th Swiss Geosciences Meeting Poster The morphology of the petrosal bone of cats (Felidae) and its phylogeny and paleoecological implication. 21.11.2015 Basel, Switzerland Joyce Walter G.;
1st International Carbonate Mound Conference Talk given at a conference The functional role of early diagenesis in carbonate mounds: from observation to experimentation 01.11.2015 Monte Verita, Ticino, Switzerland Foubert Anneleen;
1st International Carbonate Mound Conference Talk given at a conference Temporal and spatial variability of the SMTZ in cold-­‐water coral carbonate mounds in the Gulf of Cadiz, Morocco 01.11.2015 Monte Verita, Ticino, Switzerland Foubert Anneleen;
1st International Carbonate Mound Conference Talk given at a conference Nature of microbialites and aragonite crusts in the Danakil Depression (Afar, Ethiopia) 01.11.2015 Monte Verita, Ticino, Switzerland Foubert Anneleen;
Bathurst Conference 2015 Poster Coral reefs and microbial deposits in an active rift setting: insights from the Danakil Depression (Afar, Ethiopia) 13.07.2015 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Foubert Anneleen;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
24th SwissSed Meeting 27.02.2016 Fribourg, Switzerland
1st International Carbonate Mound Conference 01.11.2015 Monte Verita, Ticino, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Bruker microCT User Meeting Talk 09.05.2016 Mondorf, Luxembourg Foubert Anneleen;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) CT Imaging Laboratory Blog International 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Living Rocks AZoTV International 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
131829 Foraminifera from cold-water coral ecosystems: The Mediterranean connections 01.04.2011 Project funding
149247 4D-DIAGENESIS@MOUND: Understanding the temporal and spatial variability of early diagenesis in carbonate mounds 01.01.2014 Project funding
154810 QuantiCarb@Spring - processes and quantification of CaCO3 fabric-specific layering at hot springs and its environmental implications 01.07.2015 Ambizione
163114 SERENA - SEdimentary REcord of the Northern Afar: Insights in the flooding history of the Danakil Depression 01.07.2016 Project funding
136976 Nanotechnology: Implications for the Wood (Preservation) Industry 01.02.2012 NRP 66 Resource Wood
143340 The Swiss contribution to the ICDP Lake Van Drilling Project: Linking modern seismic and biogeochemical signatures to 500,000 years of environmental history 01.01.2013 Project funding
141604 Chances and Risks of Nanoscale Electrode Materials for Li-Ion-Batteries 01.06.2012 NRP 64 Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials
144381 The role of sheet silicate-rich rocks during mountain building processes 01.01.2013 Project funding
138122 New anti-bacterial coatings for implant materials 01.10.2011 Project funding
140618 Climate reconstruction using 44/40Ca and 137/134Ba isotopes in annually banded reef corals 01.08.2012 Project funding
140497 Dehydration kinetics and mechanisms of phyllosilicates 01.04.2012 Project funding

Abstract

3D visualization and 4D experimentation are important building blocks for better understanding profound mechanisms and processes in the Earth and Material Sciences. Spatial resolution plays hereby a crucial role. Whereas 3D-visualization at sub-micron resolution was limited to the study of small-scaled objects until a few years ago (e.g.,SEM, synchrotron tomography), recent developments in X-ray Computer Tomographic (CT) Scanning technology allows visualizing larger objects in three dimensions at sub-micron resolution. For instance, the Bruker-Skyscan multiscale nanotomograph 2211 allows visualizing the internal microstructure of objects with a spatial resolution in the range of hundreds of nanometers which is comparable to that of synchrotron tomography. The second major asset of having a high-resolution laboratory X-ray system is the non-destructive 3D reconstruction of objects, materials and geomaterials. Finally, through the use of mini-reactors, the multi-scaled nanotomograph will form the base for advanced 4D (time-related) experiments, in which the monitoring of processes through time and space (till sub-micron scale) are crucial. Access to synchrotron facilities is limited but having a laboratory X-ray system at the Department of Geosciences (University of Fribourg) will allow quasi-continuous time-controlled experiments in three dimensions. The respective nano-CT system could therefore bring the synchrotron-world to the lab.The envisaged nano-CT system is not yet available at any research institute in Switzerland despite the urgent need for the non-destructive 3D-visualization of representative samples at sub-micron scale. The acquisition of a multiscaled nanotomograph would therefore be a major asset for all areas of research that demand visualization at high spatial resolution, such as in Earth and Material Sciences. Moreover, it will allow investigating new research directions where in-situ experimentation is crucial.
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