This is the second in a three-part post about a proof that I contributed to the Stacks project. The result was already there, but I found a slightly easier proof. This post contains the actual result, and the next post will contain a fun application.
Remark. Recall that a morphism of schemes is étale if is flat and locally of finite presentation, and .
Lemma. Suppose is étale and universally injective. Then is an open immersion.
Proof. Since étale morphisms are open and surjectivity is stable under base change, we may assume that is universally bijective; then we have to prove that is an isomorphism. Since étale morphisms are open, is in fact a universal homeomorphism. By Tag 04DE, is affine.
The question is local on , so we may assume is affine, and hence so is . Say is induced by . Now is proper and affine, hence finite. Moreover, since is finitely presented and finite as -algebra, and is a finitely presented -module, it is also a finitely presented -module (Tag 0564).
Now is flat of finite presentation over , hence locally free (actually, we need the slightly stronger result that I mention in the first remark; see Tag 00NX for statement and proof). Since the question is local, we may assume is free of rank .
Now let be a geometric point; that is, let be a map to an algebraically closed field. Then the tensor product is étale of dimension over . Hence, is a union of points. Since is universally bijective, we have . Then the result follows from my previous post.