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Integrated Preparation and Imaging Techniques for the Microstructural and Geochemical Characterization of Shale by Scanning Electron Microscopy

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.

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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