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Sample Preparation Equipment Documents

Ion Slicer (IS) is an instrument used to prepare TEM lamellas and SEM cross-sections by employing an Ar broad ion beam. The IS has been getting quite popular in TEM and SEM laboratories because of its ease of use and high quality results. However, it is difficult to mill low melting point materials by the Ar broad ion beam because of thermal damage during the milling. Therefore, we have developed a specimen cooling unit for the IS. This cooling unit keeps specimen at low temperature during the ion milling to avoid the thermal damage. We named this system Cryo Ion Slicer(CIS).

Observations from a number of unconventional reservoirs lead us to conclude that four major pore types exist in fine-grained reservoir and non-reservoir rocks, that they are effectively connected, and that pore sizes from nanometers to microns must be considered when evaluating size distributions. This paper uses SEM imaging of Haynesville, Horn River, Barnett and Marcellus Shales to illustrate that pore types other than those hosted by organics are present in unconventional shale gas reservoirs, and that they are continuous and connected to kerogen-hosted pores. In addition, we present evidence that the maximum size of pores originating in organic matter is determined by the size of the kerogen mass (in the case of organic particles) or the geometry of enclosing crystals (in the case of amorphous, pore-filling kerogen). Pairs of secondary and ion-milled backscatter SEM images address the misconception that large pores observed in secondary electron images are grain pullouts.

To better understand the influence of microscale geochemical and microstructural relationships on the bulk petrophysical properties of unconventional shale systems, core samples from four producing North American formations were cross-sectioned with an argon ion polisher and imaged with a field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) using a variety of complementary detectors. We demonstrate distinct advantages of the ion-polishing technique for the preservation of the internal shale structure. Moreover, we show how such preparation affords a wider choice of imaging options for both chemical and structural characterization, such as backscatter electron observation at varying beam potentials coupled with x-ray and cathodoluminescence spectroscopic techniques.

CROSS SECTION POLISHER™ (CP) is an SEM specimen preparation device that utilized broad Ar ion beam to produce artifact-free cross-sections. The same principle can be employed not only for ion-milling but also deposition of thin layer to the specimen surface, in particular conductive coating for followup observation of a non-conductive specimen in an SEM.

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JEOL’s Smart Coater is simple to use with fully automated vacuum and sputtering. Insert your samples, turn the unit on and select the sputtering time. The chamber will evacuate and sputtering will begin automatically. When the unit is powered down, it vents to atmosphere.

New, easy-to-use MultiBeam system combines high resolution ion optics with the most popular SEM column in the world. The JIB-4500 MultiBeam offers increased throughput and productivity for a variety of applications, from viewing to analysis to micro milling.

Steel strips coated with Al-43.5Zn-1.5Si (Galvalume) alloy exhibit superior corrosion resistance as compared to Zn galvanized steel strips. The continuous hot-dip coating process used to produce such coatings entails a metallurgical reaction between the steel strip and Al-Zn-Si liquid alloy that leads to formation of an intermetallic compound layer at the steel-coating interface. Formability of the coated strip depends strongly on the morphology, dimensions (thickness) and chemical nature of this intermetallic layer. Proper characterization of the intermetallic layer structure and chemistry and the nucleation sites on the steel surface is therefore of paramount importance for the development of formable Galvalume coated steel strips. This requires preparation of artifact free cross-sectional samples. Such samples can be obtained using JEOL Cross-section Polisher (CP). Unlike mechanical sample preparation techniques that introduce significant amount of strain and possible artifacts due to preferential etching of various constituents, the CP uses a broad Ar beam and a rocking stage that minimize possible preferential etching and produces strain free cross-sections. In this paper, SEM images as well as chemical (EDS) data characterizing the interface layer between the steel strip and the Galvalume coating prepared using Cross-sectional Polisher are presented.

In 2006, we introduced a new specimen preparation apparatus, Cross-section Polisher (CP), which employs a broad argon ion beam to prepare cross-sections of specimens [1-2]. The principle of the CP is simple: a region of the specimen that is not covered by the masking plate is milled by an argon broad ion beam, as shown in Fig.1. The specimens with irregular shapes and rough surfaces that cannot be embedded prior to ion milling require additional care and consideration prior to ion-milling with CP.

Instrument overview, as seen in Microscopy Today.

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Other Resources

The following resources are available concerning Sample Preparation related instruments:

Image Gallery
  • View a selection of Cross Section Polisher images
  • Mixed Media
  • View our series of videos on the use of the Cross Section Polisher
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