Electron and X-ray microscopy Community for structural and chemical Imaging Techniques for Earth materials

01 May 2021 → 30 April 2024
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Biogeochemistry
    • Extraterrestrial geology
    • Geo(micro)biology
    • Mineralogy and crystallography
    • Other earth sciences not elsewhere classified
imaging electron microscopie computerised X-ray micro-tomography
Other information
Project description

Understanding earth materials is critical to creating a sustainable, carbon-neutral society due to their involvement in many vital processes. Earth materials control the feasibility of subsurface energy storage, geothermal energy extraction, and are a source of critical elements for future-proof battery technologies. However, perturbations to geological systems can also result in hazards, such as human-induced earthquakes. If we want to tackle the current, pressing scientific questions related to sustainable development for a circular economy, there is an urgent need to make multi-scale, multi-dimensional characterisations of earth materials available to a broad spectrum of earth-science disciplines. In addition to the societyrelevant topics, the properties of earth materials determine how the Earth works on the most fundamental level. To overcome this challenge, 15 European facilities for electron and X-ray microscopy join forces to establish EXCITE (Electron and X-ray microscopy community for structural and chemical imaging techniques for earth materials). The collective aim of the EXCITE starting community is to enable access to high-end microscopy facilities and to join the knowledge and experience from the different institutions. By doing so, EXCITE will develop community-driven technological imaging advancements that will strengthen and extend the current implementation of leading-edge microscopy for earth-materials research. In particular, the EXCITE strategy is to integrate joint research programmes with networking, training, and transnational access activities, to enable both academia and industry to answer critical questions in earth-materials science and technology. As such, EXCITE builds a community of highly qualified earth scientists, develops correlative imaging technologies and provides access to world-class facilities to particularly new and non-expert users that are often hindered from engaging in problem-solving microscopy of earth-materials. 

Role of Ghent University
UGent, with Prof. Cnudde as coordinator is active in all aspects within this project. UGent specifically is leader of WP7, where we tackle the complexity of earth materials and understanding of various properties by multi-dimensional and multi-scale characterization. More specifically they will be responsible for the report on IT infrastructure platforms for correlative multi-scale, multidimensional imaging of earth materials and work on uniting X-ray and electron microscopy. The Centre for X-ray Tomography (UGCT, UGent) will be providing transnational access during this project.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.