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Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV)


The Istituto Nazionale Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Italy’s largest geophysics and volcanology research institute, focuses on experimental research in petrology, rock mechanics, analogue modeling, and analytical observations. As part of Italy’s civil protection system, INGV handles seismic and volcanic surveillance and maintains national monitoring networks. Its labs study volcanic, seismic, and environmental risks, including vesiculation, crystallization, magmatic fragmentation, fracture propagation, fluid circulation, and alteration processes.

Istituto Nazionale Geofisica e Vulcanologia Osservatorio Vesuviano (INGV-OV):

Istituto Nazionale Geofisica e Vulcanologia Sezione di Roma1 (INGV-RM1) (From call 2 onward):

The INGV-OV X-ray Micro-CT laboratory is an infrastructure of the INGV-Osservatorio Vesuviano, the oldest volcano observatory in the world, involved in the study of volcanic, seismic and environmental hazards. The laboratory is equipped with a Xradia 410 Versa 3D microscope to acquire 3D digital maps of samples with resolutions down to 0.9 µm, through absorption and phase-contrast imaging. The facility includes software for visualization and quantitative analysis of 3D scans and petrophysical simulations (e.g., permeability). A stage for high-P and T in-situ experiments (dry/wet conditions) allows time-resolved imaging to link 4D microstructural changes with rock properties.

Established in 2002, the INGV-RM1 HPHT Laboratory conducts multidisciplinary research in volcanology, petrology, mineralogy, seismology, and rock physics. Its broad areas of research include experiments on natural, synthetic, and analogue materials, along with physical and microanalytical characterization of natural and experimental products. In this context, the Microanalysis Laboratory is being upgraded with a Scios 2 LV Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB-SEM) and a JEOL JXA-iSP100 Electron Probe Microanalyzer (EPMA). The access to these new facilities is projected to begin in 2025, enhancing the laboratory’s capabilities for advanced analysis and exploration in diverse scientific fields.

Equipment INGV-OV


X-ray tomography:

Xradia 410 Versa (μ-CT):
Micro-CT system (Zeiss Xradia 410 Versa) equipped with a microfocus X-ray source capable of energies from 40 to 150 kV. Detector system which enables the combination of geometric magnification with optical magnification, ranging from 0.4X to 20X, achieving resolutions down to 0.9 µm. Imaging mode in absorption and phase contrast. Device (Deben CT5000H250) to perform high temperature-high pressure in-situ experiments and time-resolved (4D) imaging.

Equipment INGV-RM1


Focussed Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB-SEM):

Scios 2 LV (FIB-SEM):
The Electron Microscopy Laboratory is equipped with a Scios 2 LV (FIB-SEM). The Scios 2 LV is an ultra-high-resolution analytical focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) system that provides outstanding sample preparation and 3D characterization performance for a wide range of samples, including magnetic and non-conductive materials. Moreover, the Large Area Map software allows the acquisition of large sample areas at high magnification by means of a collage of images Specifications: – Resolution: 1.5nm – Accelerating voltage: 0.2-30 kV – Maximum probe current: 400 nA – Magnification: from 40x (WD10 mm) to 500.000x – Specimen stage: five axis drive eucentric goniometer stage – Maximum specimen size: 50 mm x 40 mm.

Electron Microprobe:

The Electron Microprobe Laboratory is equipped with JEOL JXA-iSP100 electron microprobe, with five wavelength dispersive spectrometers (12 crystals), an energy dispersive spectrometer and transmission illuminator. The instrument is designed to measure quantitatively composition of a solid polished material on a microscale with high precision (within one percent relative for major constituents) and low detection limits (commonly a few tens to few hundreds ppm). Sample of interest can be as small as a few micrometers across. Built on the base of scanning electron microscope it has all the capabilities of SEM too. Specifications : – Accelerating voltage: 10-30 kV – Probe current: 5-1000 nA – Samples type: thin sections and one-inch epoxy-samples.



INGV offers non-destructive 3D high-resolution (up to the submicron) imaging of internal micro-structures of geomaterials from various geological environments, employing X-ray Micro-CT. It also provides tools for the visualization and quantitative analysis (e.g., size, shape, orientation, distribution, connectivity of pores, fractures, grains, crystals; features of sedimentary patterns, fossils, fluid inclusions; etc) of the acquired 3D/4D scans , as well as for digital petrophysical simulations (e.g., absolute and relative permeability simulations).

INGV offers expertise in micro- to nano-scale imaging, micro-analytical determination of major to minor elements, and chemical mapping of various materials, including environmental concerns like asbestos and anthropogenic micro-particles. Their EPMA provides in situ micro-chemical characterization, while FIB-SEM characterizes surface to internal microstructure, including crystallographic orientation (EBSD) and 3D investigation. Semi-quantitative analyses via the EDX detector enable rapid phase identification, optimizing analytical planning. Enhanced accuracy and resolution, along with extended detector range, improve characterization of texture, composition, and surface characteristics in natural and synthetic materials. This benefits pure and applied geosciences, building upon INGV’s prior laboratory work.

Processing and data acquisition software

Zeiss Scout & Scan and Zeiss XRM reconstructor; image processing and simulators (e.g., Avizo/PerGeos, Dragonfly/ORS, ImageJ/Fiji, Python libraries, 3DViewer), Jeol and Thermo Scientific SPI softwares.

Sample preparation

INGV-OV: Sample preparation is possible in discussion with the facility prior to access.
INGV-RM1: No sample preparation is provided. Thin sections or stubs need to be provided by the user according to facility specifications. However, sample coating is available.

Science team

Dr. Elisabetta Del Bello (Team Lead & and project Responsible for INGV)
Dr. Manuela Nazzari (Team Lead & Project Management, INGV-RM1 Facility manager)
Dr. Lucia Pappalardo (Team member, head of  INGV-OV Micro-CT Lab, INGV-OV Facility manager)
Dr. Piergiorgio Scarlato (Team Lead & head of INGV-RM1 HPHT lab)
Dr. Jacopo Taddeucci (Team member, EM specialist)
Dr. Alessio Pontesilli (Team member, EM specialist)
Dr. Fabrizio Di Fiore (Team member, EM specialist & INGV-RM1 Facility contact)
Dr. Gianmarco Buono  (Team member, X-Ray specialist & INGV-OV Facility contact)

Curious to learn more?

Interested in gaining access to the EXCITE2 facilities? Please enter your email address and be one of the first to be informed when we open the first EXCITE2 call for proposals. Other questions? Contact us here.

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