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University of Montpellier – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)


The French National Centre for Scientific Research (French: Centre national de la recherche scientifiqueCNRS) is the French state research organisation and is the largest fundamental science agency in Europe.

National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (INSU)

The National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) will participate in the EXCITE project through its INSU national platform, EBSD-GM. This platform specializes in high-resolution crystallographic mapping using electron backscattered diffraction and is hosted by Géosciences Montpellier. The specific CNRS infrastructure involved in the EXCITE proposal is the CrystalProbe-Montpellier.

Equipment CNRS-INSU


Electron Microscopy:

X500FE CrystalProbe (FEG-SEM):
FEG-SEM equipped with a Symmetry EBSD camera and EDS detector from Oxford Instruments. Inclined column allows the mapping of relatively large areas (few cm²). An ultra-fast and ultra-sensitive EBSD camera – the Symmetry from Oxford Instruments – and an EDS detector allow simultaneous crystallographic and chemical mapping of thin sections or polished sections (up to 4×3 cm). The maximum resolution of crystallographic maps on geological materials is around 0.05 μm, and the acquisition frequency can reach 500 Hz.


Crystallographic and Chemical mapping:
The CNRS-INSU facilities allow for high-resolution simultaneous crystallographic and chemical mapping by EBSD and EDS of a broad range of materials, from rocks to ice or metallic specimens. They are routinely used in earth sciences to study: (1) deformation and recrystallization processes, (2) the interactions between deformation and metamorphic reactions or fluid/melt transport, and (3) to estimate the anisotropy of physical properties of rocks, in particular seismic anisotropy.
Non-routine studies:
The specificities of the CrystalProbe also allows for non-routine studies, which are performed on a project basis. Among such projects performed in the last 5 years, we highlight: (1) cryogenic experiments to characterize recrystallization processes on ice, (2) in situ high-temperature deformation experiments on metallic alloys, (3) characterization of bio-materials (hydrogels for bone reconstruction), (4) characterization of the relations between finite strain and microstructural evolution in rocks deformed with strain markers, and (5) the identification of grain-boundary defects, such as disclinations.

Processing and data acquisition software

Aztec software, Aztec Crystal, Channel 5, MTEX

Sample preparation

Sample (e.g. thin section) polishing can be done by the facility

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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