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Unité Matériaux et Transformations

Unité Matériaux et Transformations
CNRS UMR 8207 - Université Lille 1

Director : Alexandre Legris

Deputy Director : Hugues Leroux

Main office Tel : +33 (0) 320 43 49 67
Fax : + 33 (0) 320 43 65 91

Merkel Sébastien
Sébastien Merkel
Professor at Université Lille 1 - Junior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France
Bâtiment C6 - 116
Unité Matériaux et Transformations
Bât. C6
Université Lille1
59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq
Tel: +33 (0) 320 43 65 16
Fax: +33 (0) 320 43 65 91
Research team: Mineral physics


Deep Earth geophysics - Plasticity and microstructures under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature - Seismic anisotropy


Teaching for the physics department. Physics for Geologists - Physics of the Earth - Plastic Deformation - Advanced structural characterization of materials - Scientific Publishing


Junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France, 2014-2019

Current PhD thesis

Defended PhD thesis

  • Ainhoa Lincot, Direct models of seismic anisotropie in the Earth inner core and study of textures induced by the α-ε transition in iron. Thesis defended in 2013. Other co-advisor: Philippe Cardin. Present position: Ingénieure d'études techniques en développement informatique chez MyLight Systems.
  • Caroline Bollinger, Rheology of polycrystalline olivine under upper mantle conditions: an in-situ study in the D-DIA. Thesis defended in 2013. Present position: Post-doctorat au Bayerisches Geoinstitut,  Bayreuth, Allemagne.
  • Carole Nisr, In-situ characterization of dislocations in minerals under high pressure. Thesis defended in 2011. Other co-advisor: Patrick Cordier. Present position: Astistant Research Scientist dans la School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Etats-Unis.

Recent communications

58 oral presentation(s), including 26 invited. 37 poster(s). Detailled list.

Recent publications

  • 2017
    1. C. Langrand, N. Hilairet, C. Nisr, M. Roskosz, G. Ribárik, G. B. M. Vaughan, S. Merkel, Reliability of multigrain indexing for orthorhombic polycrystals above 1 Mbar: application to MgSiO3 post-perovskite, Journal of Applied Crystallography 50 120-130 (2017) [doi: 10.1107/S1600576716018057]
  • 2016
    1. A. D. Rosa, M. Merkulova, G. Garbarino, V. Svitlyk, J. Jacobs, C. J. Sahle, O. Mathon, M. Munoz, S. Merkel, Amorphous boron composite gaskets for in situ high-pressure and high-temperature studies, High Pressure Research 36 564-574 (2016) [doi: 10.1080/08957959.2016.1245297]
    2. A. D. Rosa, N. Hilairet, S. Ghosh, J. P. Perrillat, G. Garbarino, S. Merkel, Evolution of grain sizes and orientations during phase transitions in hydrous Mg2SiO4, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121 (2016) [doi: 10.1002/2016JB013360]
    3. B. Yue, F. Hong, S. Merkel, D. Tan, J. Yan, B. Chen, H. K. Mao, Deformation Behavior across the Zircon-Scheelite Phase Transition, Physical Review Letters 117 135701 (2016) [doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.135701]
    4. C. Bollinger, P. Raterron, O. Castelnau, F. Detrez, S. Merkel, Textures in deforming forsterite aggregates up to 8 GPa and 1673 K, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 43 409-417 (2016) [doi: 10.1007/s00269-016-0805-x]
    5. A. Lincot, P. Cardin, R. Deguen, S. Merkel, Multiscale model of global inner-core anisotropy induced by hcp alloy plasticity, Geophysical Research Letters 43 1084-1091 (2016) [doi: 10.1002/2015GL067019]
  • 2015
    1. A. D. Rosa, N. Hilairet, S. Ghosh, G. Garbarino, J. Jacobs, J. P. Perrillat, G. Vaughan, S. Merkel, In situ monitoring of phase transformation microstructures at Earth's mantle pressure and temperature using multi-grain XRD, Journal of Applied Crystallography 48 1346-1354 (2015) [doi: 10.1107/S1600576715012765]
    2. F. Detrez, O. Castelnau, P. Cordier, S. Merkel, P. Raterron, Effective viscoplastic behavior of polycrystalline aggregates lacking four independent slip systems inferred from homogenization methods; application to olivine, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 83 199-220 (2015) [doi: 10.1016/j.jmps.2015.05.022]
    3. S. Merkel, N. Hilairet, Multifit-Polydefix: a framework for the analysis of polycrystal deformation using X-rays, Journal of Applied Crystallography 48 1307-1313 (2015) [doi: 10.1107/S1600576715010390]
    4. A. Dewaele, C. Denoual, S. Anzellini, F. Occelli, M. Mezouar, P. Cordier, S. Merkel, M. Véron, E. Rausch, Mechanism of the α−ε phase transformation in iron, Physical Review B 91 (2015) [doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.174105]
    5. A. Lincot, S. Merkel, P. Cardin, Is inner core seismic anisotropy a marker for plastic flow of cubic iron?, Geophysical Research Letters 42 (2015) [doi: 10.1002/2014GL062862]
    6. C. Bollinger, S. Merkel, P. Cordier, P. Raterron, Deformation of forsterite polycrystals at mantle pressure: Comparison with Fe-bearing olivine and the effect of iron on its plasticity, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 240 95-104 (2015) [doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2014.12.002]
  • 2014
    1. A. Lincot, R. Deguen, S. Merkel, P. Cardin, Seismic response and anisotropy of a model hcp iron inner core, Comptes Rendus Geoscience 346 148-157 (2014) [doi: 10.1016/j.crte.2014.04.001]
    2. C. Nisr, G. Ribárik, T. Ungár, G. B. M. Vaughan, S. Merkel, Three-dimensional X-ray diffraction in the diamond anvil cell: application to stishovite, High Pressure Research 34 158-166 (2014) [doi: 10.1080/08957959.2014.885021]
    3. C. Bollinger, P. Raterron, P. Cordier, S. Merkel, Polycrystalline olivine rheology in dislocation creep: Revisiting experimental data to 8.1GPa, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 228 211-219 (2014) [doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2013.12.001]
    4. P. Raterron, F. Detrez, O. Castelnau, C. Bollinger, P. Cordier, S. Merkel, Multiscale modeling of upper mantle plasticity: From single-crystal rheology to multiphase aggregate deformation, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 228 232-243 (2014) [doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2013.11.012]
  • 2013
    1. A. D. Rosa, C. Sanchez-valle, C. Nisr, S. R. Evans, R. Debord, S. Merkel, Shear wave anisotropy in textured phase D and constraints on deep water recycling in subduction zones, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 377-378 13-22 (2013) [doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.06.036]
    2. A. Rothkirch, G. D. Gatta, M. Meyer, S. Merkel, M. Merlini, H. P. Liermann, Single-crystal diffraction at the Extreme Conditions beamline P02.2: procedure for collecting and analyzing high-pressure single-crystal data, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 20 711-720 (2013) [doi: 10.1107/S0909049513018621]
    3. S. Merkel, H. P. Liermann, L. Miyagi, H. R. Wenk, In situ radial X-ray diffraction study of texture and stress during phase transformations in bcc-, fcc- and hcp-iron up to 36GPa and 1000K, Acta Materialia 61 5144–5151 (2013) [doi: 10.1016/j.actamat.2013.04.068]
    4. S. Merkel, News & Views -- Core processes: Earth's inner weakness, Nature Geoscience 6 514-515 (2013) [doi: 10.1038/ngeo1861]
    5. P. Raterron, S. Merkel, C. W. Holyoke iii, Axial temperature gradient and stress measurements in the deformation-DIA cell using alumina pistons, Review of Scientific Instruments 84 043906 (2013) [doi: 10.1063/1.4801956]
  • 2012
    1. C. Bollinger, S. Merkel, P. Raterron, In situ quantitative analysis of stress and texture development in forsterite aggregates deformed at 6 GPa and 1373 K, Journal of Applied Crystallography 45 263-271 (2012) [doi: 10.1107/S002188981200516X]
    2. C. Nisr, G. Ribárik, T. Ungár, G. B. M. Vaughan, P. Cordier, S. Merkel, High resolution three-dimensional X-ray diffraction study of dislocations in grains of MgGeO3 post-perovskite at 90 GPa, Journal of Geophysical Research 117 B03201 (2012) [doi: 10.1029/2011JB008401]
    3. S. Merkel, M. Gruson, Y. Wang, N. Nishiyama, C. N. Tomé, Texture and elastic strains in hcp-iron plastically deformed up to 17.5 GPa and 600 K: experiment and model, Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering 20 024005 (2012) [doi: 10.1088/0965-0393/20/2/024005]
    4. N. Hilairet, Y. Wang, T. Sanehira, S. Merkel, S. Mei, Deformation of olivine under mantle conditions: An in situ high-pressure, high-temperature study using monochromatic synchrotron radiation, Journal of Geophysical Research 117 B01203 (2012) [doi: 10.1029/2011JB008498]
    5. W. Kanitpanyacharoen, S. Merkel, L. Miyagi, P. Kaercher, C. N. Tomé, Y. Wang, H. R. Wenk, Significance of mechanical twinning in hexagonal metals at high pressure, Acta Materialia 60 430-442 (2012) [doi: 10.1016/j.actamat.2011.07.055]
  • 2011
    1. R. Deguen, P. Cardin, S. Merkel, R. A. Lebensohn, Texturing in Earth’s inner core due to preferential growth in its equatorial belt, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 188 173-184 (2011) [doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2011.08.008]
  • 2010
    1. K. Hirose, Y. Nagaya, S. Merkel, Y. Ohishi, Deformation of MnGeO3 post-perovskite at lower mantle pressure and temperature, Geophysical Research Letters 37 L20302 (2010) [doi: 10.1029/2010GL044977]
    2. O. Castelnau, P. Cordier, R. A. Lebensohn, S. Merkel, P. Raterron, Microstructures and rheology of the Earth’s upper mantle inferred from a multiscale approach, Comptes Rendus Physique 11 304–315 (2010) [doi: 10.1016/j.crhy.2010.07.011]
  • 2009
    1. P. Raterron, S. Merkel, In situ rheological measurements at extreme pressure and temperature using synchrotron X-ray diffraction and radiography, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 16 748–756 (2009) [doi: 10.1107/S0909049509034426]
    2. H. P. Liermann, S. Merkel, L. Miyagi, H. R. Wenk, G. Shen, H. Cynn, W. J. Evans, Experimental method for in situ determination of material textures at simultaneous high pressure and high temperature by means of radial diffraction in the diamond anvil cell, Review of Scientific Instruments 80 104501 (2009) [doi: 10.1063/1.3236365]
    3. L. Miyagi, S. Merkel, T. Yagi, N. Sata, Y. Ohishi, H. R. Wenk, Diamond anvil cell deformation of CaSiO3 perovskite up to 49 GPa, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 174 159-164 (2009) [doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2008.05.018 ]
    4. S. Merkel, C. Tomé, H. R. Wenk, Modeling analysis of the influence of plasticity on high pressure deformation of hcp-Co, Physical Review B 79 064110 (2009) [doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.064110]
  • 2007
    1. K. Niwa, T. Yagi, K. Ohgushi, S. Merkel, N. Miyajima, T. Kikegawa, Lattice preferred orientation in CaIrO3 perovskite and post-perovskite formed by plastic deformation under pressure, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 34 679-686 (2007) [doi: 10.1007/s00269-007-0182-6]
    2. N. Hilairet, B. Reynard, Y. Wang, I. Daniel, S. Merkel, N. Nishiyama, S. Petitgirard, High-pressure creep of serpentine, interseismic deformation, and initiation of subduction, Science 318 1910-1913 (2007) [doi: 10.1126/science.1148494]
    3. S. Merkel, A. K. Mcnamara, A. Kubo, S. Speziale, L. Miyagi, Y. Meng, T. S. Duffy, H. R. Wenk, Deformation of (Mg,Fe)SiO3 Post-Perovskite and D'' Anisotropy, Science 316 1729-1732 (2007) [doi: 10.1126/science.1140609]
  • 2006
    1. D. Antonangeli, S. Merkel, D. L. Farber, Elastic anisotropy in hcp metals at high pressure and the sound wave anisotropy of the Earth's inner core, Geophysical Research Letters 33 L24303 (2006) [doi: 10.1029/2006GL028237]
    2. L. Miyagi, S. Merkel, T. Yagi, N. Sata, Y. Ohishi, H. R. Wenk, Quantitative Rietveld texture analysis of CaSiO3 perovskite deformed in a diamond anvil cell, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 18 S995-S1005 (2006) [doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/18/25/S07] *Note
    3. C. E. Tommaseo, J. Devine, S. Merkel, S. Speziale, H. R. Wenk, Texture development and elastic stresses in magnesiowustite at high pressure, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 33 84-97 (2006) [doi: 10.1007/s00269-005-0054-x] *Note
    4. S. Merkel, A. Kubo, L. Miyagi, S. Speziale, T. S. Duffy, H. K. Mao, H. R. Wenk, Plastic Deformation of MgGeO3 Post-Perovskite at Lower Mantle Pressures, Science 311 644-646 (2006) [doi: 10.1126/science.1121808] *Note
    5. T. Ferroir, T. Onozawa, T. Yagi, S. Merkel, N. H. Miyajima, N. Nishiyama, T. Irifune, T. Kikegawa, Equation of state and phase transition in KAlSi3O8 hollandite at high pressure, American Mineralogist 91 327-332 (2006) [doi: 10.2138/am.2006.1879] *Note
    6. H. R. Wenk, I. Lonardelli, S. Merkel, L. Miyagi, J. Pehl, S. Speziale, C. E. Tommaseo, Deformation textures produced in diamond anvil experiments, analysed in radial diffraction geometry, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 18 S933-S947 (2006) [doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/18/25/S02] *Note
    7. S. Merkel, T. Yagi, Effect of lattice preferred orientation on lattice strains in polycrystalline materials deformed under high pressure: Application to hcp-Co, Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids 67 2119-2131 (2006) [doi: 10.1016/j.jpcs.2006.05.025] *Note
    8. S. Merkel, N. Miyajima, D. Antonangeli, G. Fiquet, T. Yagi, Lattice preferred orientation and stress in polycrystalline hcp-Co plastically deformed under high pressure, Journal of Applied Physics 100 023510 (2006) [doi: 10.1063/1.2214224] *Note
    9. S. Merkel, X-ray diffraction evaluation of stress in high pressure deformation experiments, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 18 S949-S962 (2006) [doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/18/25/S03]
  • 2005
    1. S. Merkel, J. F. Shu, P. Gillet, H. K. Mao, R. J. Hemley, X-ray diffraction study of the single-crystal elastic moduli of epsilon-Fe up to 30 GPa, Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth 110 B05201 (2005) [doi: 10.1029/2004JB003197] *Note
    2. S. Merkel, T. Yagi, X-ray transparent gasket for diamond anvil cell high pressure experiments, Review of Scientific Instruments 76 046109 (2005) [doi: 10.1063/1.1884195] *Note
    3. D. Antonangeli, M. Krisch, G. Fiquet, J. Badro, D. L. Farber, A. Bossak, S. Merkel, Aggregate and single-crystalline elasticity of hcp cobalt at high pressure, Physical Review B 72 134303 (2005) [doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.72.134303] *Note
  • 2004
    1. Y. Sueda, T. Irifune, N. Nishiyama, R. P. Rapp, T. Ferroir, T. Onozawa, T. Yagi, S. Merkel, N. Miyajima, K. Funakoshi, A new high-pressure form of KAlSi3O8 under lower mantle conditions, Geophysical Research Letters 31 L23612 (2004) [doi: 10.1029/2004GL021156] *Note
    2. S. Merkel, H. R. Wenk, P. Gillet, H. K. Mao, R. J. Hemley, Deformation of polycrystalline iron up to 30GPa and 1000K, Physics of The Earth and Planetary Interiors 145 239-251 (2004) [doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2004.04.001] *Note
    3. S. Merkel, Earth Science: The mantle deformed, Nature 428 812-813 (2004) [doi: 10.1038/428812a] *Note
  • 2003
    1. S. Merkel, H. R. Wenk, J. Badro, G. Montagnac, P. Gillet, H. k. Mao, R. J. Hemley, Deformation of (Mg0.9,Fe0.1)SiO3 Perovskite aggregates up to 32 GPa, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 209 351-360 (2003) [doi: 10.1016/S0012-821X(03)00098-0] *Note
  • 2002
    1. S. Merkel, A. P. Jephcoat, J. Shu, H. K. Mao, P. Gillet, R. J. Hemley, Equation of state, elasticity, and shear strength of pyrite under high pressure, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 29 1-9 (2002) [doi: 10.1007/s002690100207] *Note
    2. S. Merkel, H. R. Wenk, J. Shu, G. Shen, P. Gillet, H. K. Mao, R. J. Hemley, Deformation of polycrystalline MgO at pressures of the lower mantle, Journal of Geophysical Research 107 2271 (2002) [doi: 10.1029/2001JB000920] *Note
  • 2001
    1. J. Chéry, S. Merkel, S. Bouissou, A Physical Basis for Time Clustering of Large Earthquakes, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 91 1685-1693 (2001) [doi: 10.1785/0120000298] *Note
    2. S. Matthies, S. Merkel, H. R. Wenk, R. J. Hemley, H. k. Mao, Effects of texture on the determination of elasticity of polycrystalline ϵ-iron from diffraction measurements, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 194 201-212 (2001) [doi: 10.1016/S0012-821X(01)00547-7] *Note
  • 2000
    1. S. Merkel, A. F. Goncharov, H. K. Mao, P. Gillet, R. J. Hemley, Raman Spectroscopy of Iron to 152 Gigapascals: Implications for Earth's Inner Core, Science 288 1626-1629 (2000) [doi: 10.1126/science.288.5471.1626] *Note
  • 1999
    1. S. Merkel, R. J. Hemley, H. k. Mao, Finite-element modeling of diamond deformation at multimegabar pressures, Applied Physics Letters 74 656 (1999) [doi: 10.1063/1.123031] *Note
Unité Matériaux et Transformations, CNRS UMR 8207, Université Lille1, Bâtiment C6, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
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