Microstructure and Pore Analysis


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.


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


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

These BIB-SEM microstructural analyses are applied particularly on heterogeneous and fine-grained geological materials like shales or tight sands. Other nano-materials, for instance, cements for construction or membranes for filtration applications, are also investigated using our BIB-SEM methodology.


Our microstructure and pore analyses are applied particularly on heterogeneous and ne-grained geological materials such as shales or tight sands. With the processing power of our software suite it is possible to analyse representative gigapixel sample cross sections at multi-scale resolution. All materials with microstructural properties such as cements for construction, conductive coatings and membranes for filtration applications are also investigated using our BIB-SEM methodology. This friction-free argon ion sample preparation method is especially well-suited for delicate samples.