Analysis of nanoscale fluid inclusions in geomaterials by atom probe tomography: Experiments and numerical simulations

Renell Dubosq, B Gault, C Hatzoglou, K Schweinar, F Vurpillot, A Rogowitz, Gerd Rantitsch, D Schneider

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The spatial correlation between defects in crystalline materials and trace element segregation plays a fundamental role in determining the physical and mechanical properties of a material, which is particularly important in naturally deformed materials. Herein, we combine electron backscatter diffraction, electron channelling contrast imaging, scanning transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography on a naturally occurring metal sulphide in an attempt to document mechanisms of element segregation in a brittle-dominated deformation regime. Within APT reconstructions, features with a high point density comprising O-rich discs stacked over As-rich spherules are observed. The combined microscopy data allow us to interpret these as nanoscale fluid inclusions. Our observations are confirmed by simulated APT experiments of core-shell particles with a core exhibiting a very low evaporation field and the shell emulating a segregated layer at the inclusion interface. Our data has significant trans-disciplinary implications to the geosciences, the material sciences, and analytical microscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113092
Number of pages10
Issue numberNovember
Early online date5 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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