Microstructure and Pores

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B2B focused section, in which You can find background information about our products

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In this section, we showcase possible applications for our technologies and products

Technologies

Explore our scientific approach to microstructure analyses

BIB-SEM

Brod Ion Beam (BIB) Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is one of our core technologies and allows Gigapixel imaging at nano-scale resolution

Cryo-BIB-SEM

Cryo-Broad Ion Beam sputtering combined with Cryo-Scanning Electron Microscopy enables us to analyze Cryo-preserved fluids inside pore networks and micro cracks

LMI-BIB-SEM

The Liquid Metal Injection (LMI) is used to fill the connected pore network of a sample to make analysing it via BIB-SEM easier

ViP-Virtual Petrograph

Using multi-scale automated petrographic analyses we are able to segment fracture networks, minerals, pores and mineral overgrowths in a sample

MaPro Image Analysis Software

Our unique Image Analysis Software showcases a modern approach to microstrucutre analysis and leads to faster and more precise analyses

BIB-SEM

Additional information regarding our BIB-SEM technology

How

Combining Broad Ion Beam (BIB) sputtering with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) imaging including topography-, phase-, and chemical- mapping using Secondary Electrons (SE), Backscattered Electrons (BSE) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS). The argon ion sputtered surface allows Gigapixel imaging at nano-scale resolution of the microstructure followed by image processing.

Applications

High-resolution microstructural analysis of heterogeneous tight rocks and materials at a representative scale.

Cryo-BIB-SEM

Additional information regarding our Cryo-BIB-SEM technology

How

Combining Cryo-Broad Ion Beam sputtering with Cryo-Scanning Electron Microscopy and chemical analysis using EDS we are able to image and analyze Cryo-preserved fluids inside pore networks and micro cracks. The Cryo-loading station with Cryo-saw allows performing sample preparation for the Cryo-BIB under LN2 conditions.

Applications

High-resolution microstructural characterization of wet or soft materials, like oil/brine-filled reservoir rocks, oil shales, tissue, bio-materials, polymers, membranes.

LMI-BIB-SEM

Additional information regarding our LMI-BIB-SEM technology

How

During Liquid Metal Injection (LMI) the fusible alloy intrudes and fills the connected pore network. The degree of percolation depends on the critical pore throat diameter in the porous medium. The minimum pore throat diameter which can be filled depends on the injection pressure, following the Washburn equation. After the desired injection pressure is reached, the sample is cooled down under pressure and the metal solidifies in the pores. The following BIB-SEM investigation allows interrogating the 3D pore network.

Applications

Characterization of the connected pore network at nanometer resolution on a representative sample scale.

ViP – Virtual Petrograph

Additional information regarding our ViP-Virtual Petrograph technology

How

This system displays mosaic images of thin-sections with 10 nm accuracy at all settings of a conventional polarizing microscope from a highly compressed Gigapixel image file. Using multi-scale automated petrographic analyses we are able to segment fracture networks, minerals, pores and mineral overgrowths. Regions of interest can be selected for enhanced analyses like ion-polishing preparation followed by BIB-SEM.

Applications

Multi-scale, quantitative analysis of petrophysical attributes, automated analysis of sections, digital library.

MaPro – The Image Analysis Software

Additional information regarding our MaPro – Image Analysis technology

How

Machine Learning Algorithms developed with data from cement samples are now used in MaPs new MaPro software to correctly identify pore space and mineral composition of cements and other samples.

Accomplishments

The algorithms are now on a level with human decisions or even better, depending the quality of the sample. A newly developed Graphical User Interface (GUI) leads the user intuitively throught the process of analyzing the given set of images.

Vision

In the future, we will decide whether we will license the software for commercial use, or keep using it internally to provide the best results to our customers.

Products

What we do for You!

BIB-SEM

Gigapixel image data, Pore analyses, Quantified mineralogy, Advanced pore analyses

Cryo-BIB-SEM

Cutting-edge cryo-BIB-SEM method

LMI-BIB-SEM

Pore analyses, porosity and permeability assessment

ViP-Virtual Petrograph

Image data, Pore analyses, Quantified mineralogy, Data storage

MaPro Image Analysis Software

Learn more about a possible licensed use of MaPro

BIB-SEM-Products

Below, You find a list of our BIB-SEM related products

Gigapixel image data

SE Topography maps
BSE Phase density maps
EDS Element maps

Pore analyses

Visible porosity
Pore size distributions
Pore shape and orientation
Surface area and roughness

Quantified mineralogy

Grain size distributions
Mineral fabric
Organic-matter distributions

Advanced pore analyses

Organic-matter porosity
Mineral phase porosity
Inter-/intraparticle porosity
Inferred porosity and permeability

Cryo-BIB-SEM-Products

Below, You find a list of our Cryo-BIB-SEM related products

cutting-edge Cryo-BIB-SEM method

Our unique cutting-edge Cryo-BIB-SEM method allows to image and investigate the fluid-filled microstructure and measure the:

In-situ Fluid chemistry
In-situ Wettability
In-situ Fluid distribution

This cutting-edge technology open new fields of research, for instance, for EOR screening or core and formation damage evaluation.

LMI-BIB-SEM-Products

Below, You find a list of our LMI-BIB-SEM related products

Pore analyses

Effective porosity
3D Pore connectivity
Percolation threshold

Porosity and permeability assessment

LMI resembles conventional Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (MIP) and therefore we can evaluate MIP data as we visualize what part of the pore space is actually being filled with the liquid metal. Moreover, we can investigate the pore space between the cracks and correct for core damage. Permeability estimation can be obtained relatively easy by using the capillary tube model, as we know the effective porosity and the percolation threshold from the image data.

ViP - Products

Below, You find a list of our ViP related products

Image data

Transmitted light maps
Polarized light maps
Reflected light maps

Pore analysis

Visible porosity
Pore size distributions
Pore shape and orientation
Surface area and roughness

Quantified mineralogy

Grain size distributions
Mineral fabric

Data storage

Digital thin section libraries
Interpretation stored with thin section

MaPro – The Product

Additional information regarding the licensing and use of our MaPro – Software

Internal use for Your analysis!

As for now, MaPro is used by our experts for multiple purposes during our analysis of your samples

Possible licensed use?

We are currently planning further development of the software and a possible licensed use. Visit our News section regularly to stay up to date!

Markets

Explore the various fields our technologies and services can play a role in

References

MaP sounds to good to be true? Applications of our technology and past projects are listed below...

Application Notes

Explore earlier applications of our unique analysis methods in further detail

Publications

Find a list of selected publications such as Journal Articles, Conference Contributions and White Papers

Application Notes

Explore the diverse applications of our technologies

Carbonate Rocks

Multi-Scale Imaging and Quantification of Pores in Carbonate Rocks

Organic-rich Shale

Pore Space Quantification and Distribution in an Organic-rich Shale

Rock Salt

Triple-beam Ar-Ion-Milling with a Rotary Stage to Decorate Grain Boundaries and Substructures in Rock Salt

Multi-Scale Imaging and Quantification of Pores in Carbonate Rocks

Characterization of the wide range of pore sizes present in many carbonate rock types requires the integration of optical and electron microscopy. At MaP we developed such a routine in order to capture the porosity in a representative way. At first, automated optical microscopy imaging using the Virtual Petrograph (ViP) allows quantification of the macroporosity. Quantification of the microporosity is obtained by analyzing SEM images recorded from BIB-polished sample cross-sections. Pore space is segmented from the ViP and BIB-SEM image data using advanced image processing algorithms. From the integration of both outcomes we can obtain the porosity, pore size distribution and pore geometry and undertake pore type characterization and classification. Additional Liquid Metal Injection (LMI) followed by BIB-SEM surveys the connectivity of the macro- and microporosity.

Full Application Note

Click to Download

Pore Space Quantification and Distribution in an Organic-rich Shale

Physical porosity is a crucial property in shales as it controls the storage capacity to a large extent and forms the transport system. Imaging the visible pore space, the associated mineralogy, and organic matter provide insight into the relevant phases for storage and transport and allow for upscaling. However, it is a challenge to measure the physical porosity in a representative way and at high resolution because of sample heterogeneity as well as small pore sizes, which are typically below the micrometer in those fine-grained rocks. Using our BIB-SEM technology we are able to assess the sample heterogeneity and image the typical pores at nanometer scale resolution, commonly employing a pixel size of 15 nanometer, in a representative way. Moreover, core damage like cracks can be quantified and corrected for bulk porosity and permeability measurements.

Full Application Note

Click to Download

Triple-beam Ar-Ion-Milling with a Rotary Stage to Decorate Grain Boundaries and Substructures in Rock Salt

Decoration of grain boundaries in polycrystalline rocks has a long tradition in Structural Geology as in a monomineralic rock the recrystallized grain size is a good indicator for the paleostress conditions. Understanding the mechanical properties of rock salt and its deformation behavior is of major importance for the prediction of long-term stability of nuclear waste repositories, and for our understanding of the dynamics of salt-related sedimentary ba sins which host the majority of oil and gas deposits on Earth. Common methods to expose grain boundaries and substructures in rock salt are chemical etching procedures using brine or water or the gamma irradiation method.

Full Application Note

Click to Download

Publications

Below You find a table with some of our scientific publications

Date Title Authors Medium
2020 Stress sensitivity of porosity and permeability of Cobourg limestone Zhazha Hu, Jop Klaver, Joyce Schmatz, Jan Dewanckele, Ralf Littke, Bernhard M. Krooss, Alexandra Amann-Hildenbrand Engineering Geology Volume 273
2019 Transport propertiesof the Cobourg Limestone: A benchmark investigation C. A. Davy, Zhazha Hu , A.P.S. Selvadurai, Jop Klaver, M.-C. Willemetz, F. Agostini, F. Skoczylas, Jan Dewanckele, Alexandra Amann-Hildenbrand and Roland Lenormand SCA2019-037
2019 Non-marine carbonate reservoir architecture, genesis and petrophysical characterisation from analogues-Travertines, Shrubs, Laminites and Spherulites. H Claes, J Soete, MM Erthal, Á Török, Z Mohammadi, C Aratman, T Siqueira de Miranda, A Mancini, E Capezzuoli, J Schmatz, J Aguillar, L Zieger, R Swennen. First EAGE Workshop on Pre-Salt Reservoir: from Exploration to Production 2019, (1), 1-5.
2019 SAXS and WAXS Microscopy Applied to Mudrocks: A New Method for Systematic Multiscale Studies of Porosity, Pore Orientation and Mineralogy. L Leu, P Bertier, A Georgiadis, A Busch, A Diaz, J Klaver, J Schmatz, V. Lutz-Bueno, J. Ihli, H. Ott and M. Blunt Sixth EAGE Shale Workshop 2019 (1), 1-4.
2019 Solid bitumen in shales: Petrographic characteristics and implications for reservoir characterization. D Misch, D Gross, G Hawranek, B Horsfield, J Klaver, F Mendez-Martin, JL Urai, S Vranjes-Wessely, RF Sachsenhofer, J Schmatz, J Li and C Zou. International Journal of Coal Geology 205, 14-31.
2018 Factors controlling shale microstructure and porosity: A case study on upper Visean Rudov beds from the Ukrainian Dneiper–Donets Basin. D Misch, J Klaver, D Gross, V Mayer-Kiener, F Mendez-Martin, J Schmatz, RF Sachsenhofer. AAPG Bulletin 102 (12), 2629-2654.
2018 Model-free classification of X-ray scattering signals applied to image segmentation. V Lutz-Bueno, C Arboleda, L Leu, MJ Blunt, A Busch, A Georgiadis, Pieter Bertier, Joyce Schmatz, Zsuzsanna Varga, Pablo Villanueva-Perez, Z Wang, Maxime Lebugle, C David, Marco Stampanoni, Ana Diaz, Manuel Guizar-Sicairos, Andreas Menzel. Journal of applied crystallography 51 (5), 1378-1386.
2018 KG²B, a collaborative benchmarking exercise for estimating the permeability of the Grimsel granodiorite–Part 1: measurements, pressure dependence and pore-fluid effects. C David, J Wassermann, F Amann, DA Lockner, EH Rutter, T Vanorio, ... J Klaver, A Clark. Geophysical Journal International 215 (2), 799-824.
2018 KG²B, a collaborative benchmarking exercise for estimating the permeability of the Grimsel granodiorite—Part 2: modelling, microstructures and complementary data. C David, J Wassermann, F Amann, J Klaver, C Davy, J Sarout, L Esteban, ... Geophysical Journal International 215 (2), 825-843.
2018 Multiscale porosity changes along the pro-and retrograde deformation path: an example from Alpine slates. IV Akker, J Kaufmann, G Desbois, J Klaver, LJ Urai, A Berger, M Herwegh. Solid Earth 9, 1141-1156.
2018 Multiscale porosity estimates of slates. I Vénice Akker, J Kaufmann, G Desbois, J Klaver, JL Urai, A Berger, ... EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 20, 2039.
2018 Formation of slaty cleavage along a temperature gradient. I Vénice Akker, G Desbois, J Klaver, JL Urai, A Berger, M Herwegh. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 20, 2033.
2018 Image-based microstructural analysis: A BIB-SEM study on Upper Visean shales from the Dniepr-Donets Basin (Ukraine). D Misch, J Klaver, J Schmatz, JL Urai, D Gross, RF Sachsenhofer. 2018. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 20, 6276.
2018 Pore space characteristics of the Upper Visean ‘Rudov Beds’: insights from broad ion beam scanning electron microscopy and organic geochemical investigations. D Misch, J Klaver, D Gross, J Rustamov, RF Sachsenhofer, J Schmatz, ... Geological Society, London, Special Publications 484, SP484. 9.
2017 Nanoscale morphology of brine/oil/mineral contacts in connected pores of carbonate reservoirs: Insights on wettability from Cryo-BIB-SEM. J Schmatz, J Klaver, M Jiang, JL Urai. SPE Journal 22 (05), 1,374-1,384.
2017 Enhanced surface flatness of vitrinite particles by broad ion beam polishing and implications for reflectance measurements. A Grobe, J Schmatz, R Littke, J Klaver, JL Urai. International Journal of Coal Geology 180, 113-121.
2017 Standardized Automated Multiscale Imaging Technologies to Quantify Microstructure and Petrophysical Properties in a Range of Rock Types. J Schmatz, J Klaver, S Virgo, M Jiang, C von Hagke, G Desbois, JL Urai. 79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2017 2017 (1), 1-5.
2017 Liquid Metal Injection: A novel tool to investigate connected porosity and transport pathways in unconventional reservoirs. J Klaver, J Schmatz, JL Urai. SPE Europec featured at 79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition.
2017 Micro-fabric damages in Boom Clay inferred from cryo-BIB-SEM experiment: recent results. G Desbois, J Schmatz, J Klaver, JL Urai. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 19, 4461.
2017 Deformation mechanisms and resealing of damage zones in experimentally deformed cemented and un-cemented clay-rich geomaterials, at low bulk strain. G Desbois, JL Urai, B Schuck, N Hoehne, A Oelker, P Bésuelle, Gioacchino Viggiani, Joyce Schmatz, Jop Klaver. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 19, 4447.
2017 Investigation of transport pathways in shales and tight reservoirs by means of liquid metal injection. J Klaver, J Schmatz, G Desbois, JL Urai. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 19, 14990.
2017 Microstructure formation of lithium-ion battery electrodes during drying–An ex-situ study using cryogenic broad ion beam slope-cutting and scanning electron microscopy (Cryo-BIB-SEM). S Jaiser, J Kumberg, J Klaver, JL Urai, W Schabel, J Schmatz, P Scharfer. Journal of Power Sources 345, 97-107.
2017 Lessons learned from electron microscopy of deformed Opalinus clay. B Laurich, JL Urai, G Desbois, J Klaver, C Vollmer, C Nussbaum. Ferrari A., Laloui L. (eds) Advances in Laboratory Testing and Modelling of Soils and Shales (ATMSS). ATMSS 2017. Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering. Springer, Cham, 345-350.
2017 Using BIB-SEM imaging for permeability prediction in heterogeneous shales. CJA Sinn, J Klaver, R Fink, M Jiang, J Schmatz, R Littke, JL Urai. Geofluids 2017.
2016 Microstructural characterisation of the Ypresian clays (Kallo-1) at nanometre resolution, using broad-ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy. S Hemes, G Desbois, J Klaver, JL Urai. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 95 (3), 293-313.
2016 Nanostructural Investigations on Potential Gas Shales of the Dniepr-Donets Basin (Ukraine). D Misch, J Klaver, D Groß, J Schmatz, RF Sachsenhofer, F Mendez-Martin. 78th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2016, cp-490-00754.
2016 Porosity and pore connectivity in immature and artificially matured source rock using BIB-SEM, WMI and MIP. JM Klaver, J Schmatz, B Krooss, M Stockhausen, L Schwark, JL Urai. Fifth EAGE Shale Workshop 2016 (1), 1-5.
2016 Overview of Integrated Microstructural Studies to Better Understand Mechanical and Fluid Flow Properties of Fine Grained. M Klaver, B Laurich, G Desbois, S Hemes, J Schmatz, JL Urai. Fifth EAGE Shale Workshop 2016 (1), 1-5.
2016 BIB-SEM pore characterization of mature and post mature Posidonia Shale samples from the Hils area, Germany. J Klaver, G Desbois, R Littke, JL Urai. International Journal of Coal Geology 158, 78-89.
2016 Microstructure and porosity of deformed and undeformed claystones from mm to nm scale. G Desbois, J Urai, S Hemes, B Laurich, M Houben, J Klaver, B Schuck, ... 5th International Workshop on the testing of low permeability materials.
2016 Application of BIB–SEM technology to characterize microstructure and pores in mudstone at a range of scales. J Klaver, J Schmatz, G Desbois, S Hemes, JL Urai. 2016 2nd Petrus-OPERA Conf. Radioact. Waste Manag. Geol. Dispos., Delft, 55-5.

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Our Team

Learn more about the people behind our vision

Dr. Joyce Schmatz

Geologist - Managing Director
Google Scholar

Dr. Jop Klaver

Geologist - Managing Director
Google Scholar

Mingze Jiang, MSc.

Software Engineer

Eva Wellmann, MSc.

Project Leader

Anastasia Hoffmann, MSc.

Microstructure Analyst

Can David Thomas

Junior Expert

Lorena Camacho

Junior Expert

Victoria Kuznetsova

Junior Expert

Farah Mannouni

Junior Expert

Roula Qaddor

Junior Expert

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52064 Aachen

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