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EMU Scientific: acquisition of triple beam electron microscope coupled with automated image analysis system (TriBeam)

Abstract

This proposal aims the acquisition of an unprecedented equipment in the country, characterized bya triple-beam electron microscope (TriBeam): laser, ions and electrons, with backscatteredelectron diffraction (EBSD), secondary electron detectors (SE), backscattered (BSD), chemicalmicroanalysis (EDS), computer system for 3D spatial reconstruction (Avizo) and automated imageanalysis system (AI).The existing 3D materials characterization techniques, including atomic probe tomography,transmission electron tomography, FIB cutting and visualization, and X-ray tomography, have anoticeable gap in the range of about 100 µm to 1 mm; this proposal aims at a single high resolutionmulti-beam and multi-scale application for fast machining and high resolution 3D characterizationin the considered range. The system extends the possibilities of 2D-3D upscale with a unique andnon-existent tool for characterizing submillimeter to millimeter objects with nanometer precision;enables precision micro-machining operations to extract thin-film samples for in-situ mechanicaltesting by removing layers at rates 15,000 times faster than in double-beam (FIB) systems andgenerating ready-made surfaces for analysis (SEM, IA, EDS/WDS, EBSD).No analogous systems were identified in the State of São Paulo. The requested configuration,combined with the existing infrastructure, the 30-year tradition in multi-user lab and managementestablishes new horizons for research in the state and in the country, meeting almost all thedemands of materials characterization in an innovative approach. It is not just the acquisition ofequipment, but a system that will integrate a park of multi-user equipment with an estimated valueof more than USD 7 million, with a team of highly qualified specialists from different specialtieswhose common objective is the study of materials. The facility's infrastructure is available to allacademic institutions and external users through multi-user access via the PRP/USP website(USP-Multi), which guarantees full transparency to the processes and availability of resources, withthe potential to nuclear and/or support research in entire national territory.The intended system can be applied to almost all materials characterization demands, fromorganic to inorganic, with immediate application to cementitious materials, geological materials ofany nature (rocks, ores, minerals, tailings), metallurgical processing products, reservoir rocks of oiland gas, ceramic materials, thin films, study of tribology of surfaces, composites and metallics,archeology, paleontology and micropaleontology, dentistry, food engineering, microelectronics, etc.Regarding the UN SDGs, the projects to be covered immediately meet the following objectives: 2 -sustainable agriculture (food engineering), 3 - health and well-being (biomaterials andpharmaceuticals), 7 - clean energy (materials for energy purposes ), 9 - industry (varioussegments), 11 - cities (building materials), 13 - climate change (materials for energy transition).The demands for improvement and innovation of industrial processes and products related to themicrostructure of materials are daily in a multi-user laboratory located in an industrial park like theone in the metropolitan region of São Paulo. The ease of access and recognized competencemake USP and its laboratories present in many technological improvement and innovation projectsof companies located in the State of São Paulo, in other States, as well as abroad. (AU)

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