Nano-tomography of porous geological materials using focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy

Yang Liu, Helen E. King, Marijn A. van Huis, Martyn R. Drury, Oliver Plümper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tomographic analysis using focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) provides three-dimensional information about solid materials with a resolution of a few nanometres and thus bridges the gap between X-ray and transmission electron microscopic tomography techniques. This contribution serves as an introduction and overview of FIB-SEM tomography applied to porous materials. Using two different porous Earth materials, a diatomite specimen, and an experimentally produced amorphous silica layer on olivine, we discuss the experimental setup of FIB-SEM tomography. We then focus on image processing procedures, including image alignment, correction, and segmentation to finally result in a three-dimensional, quantified pore network representation of the two example materials. To each image processing step we consider potential issues, such as imaging the back of pore walls, and the generation of image artefacts through the application of processing algorithms. We conclude that there is no single image processing recipe; processing steps need to be decided on a case-by-case study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
Number of pages19
JournalMinerals
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • FIB-SEM
  • Porosity
  • Segmentation
  • Tomography

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