Micro- to Nanoscale Investigation of Structures and Chemical Heterogeneities in Geomaterials: Impacts on Rheology

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Title: Micro- to Nanoscale Investigation of Structures and Chemical Heterogeneities in Geomaterials: Impacts on Rheology
Authors: Dubosq, Renelle
Date: 2021-10-12
Abstract: The presence of and interactions between structural defects, fluids, and trace elements during deformation play a vital role in the manner in which materials respond to an applied stress. Although the links between crystal defects and trace element mobility have been lying at the frontier of research in Earth sciences, the role of fluids and the underlying physico-chemical processes linking them remain poorly understood. Investigation of these nanometer scale processes requires a correlative approach combining high-spatial resolution analytical techniques. This thesis integrates novel 2D and 3D structural and geochemical mapping methods such as electron channeling contrast imaging, electron backscatter diffraction, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and atom probe tomography (APT) to interrogate the atomic structure and composition of geomaterials in an attempt to better understand long-standing questions in Earth sciences and build bridges between materials science and geoscience. The processes investigated in this thesis include: 1) the underlying diffusion processes that mobilize trace elements into deformation-induced nanostructures; 2) the mechanisms of trace element segregation associated with fluid inclusions; 3) the influence of fluid inclusions on the mobility of structural defects and trace element mobility; and 4) the initial stages of bubble nucleation in the presence of nanoscale chemical heterogeneities. Ultimately, this research interrogates the feedbacks between deformation and trace element diffusion processes, fundamentally investigating their impact on rheology. More specifically, the thesis investigates the influence of deformation and associated nanostructures on the remobilization of trace elements and, in turn, the influence of trace elements on the nucleation and mobility of nanostructures. The combined work successfully identified two diffusion mechanisms for deformation-induced trace element mobility, characterized fluid-inclusions in APT data, documented two processes that led to proposing a new fluid inclusion-induced hardening model, and documented direct evidence of bubble nucleation on the surface of nanoscale chemical heterogeneities. This work not only pushes the limits of high-spatial resolution analytical techniques including STEM and APT, but the results have significant transdisciplinary implications in the fields of geoscience, materials science, engineering, and analytical microscopy.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/42806
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-27023
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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