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Let X be a scheme of finite type over a Noetherian base scheme S admitting a dualizing complex, and let U ⊂ X be an open set whose complement has codimension at least 2. We extend the Deligne-Bezrukavnikov theory of perverse coherent sheaves by showing that a coherent intermediate extension (or intersection cohomology) functor from perverse sheaves on U to perverse sheaves on X may be defined for a much broader class of perversities than has previously been known. We also introduce a derived category version of the coherent intermediate extension functor. Under suitable hypotheses, we introduce a construction (called "S -extension") in terms of perverse coherent sheaves of algebras on X that takes a finite morphism to U and extends it in a canonical way to a finite morphism to X. In particular, this construction gives a canonical "S -ification" of appropriate X. The construction also has applications to the "Macaulayfication" problem, and it is particularly well-behaved when X is Gorenstein. Our main goal, however, is to address a conjecture of Lusztig on the geometry of special pieces (certain subvarieties of the unipotent variety of a reductive algebraic group). The conjecture asserts in part that each special piece is the quotient of some variety (previously unknown for the exceptional groups and in positive characteristic) by the action of a certain finite group. We use S -extension to give a uniform construction of the desired variety. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 2 2 2

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Advances in Mathematics

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