Nanofabrication of synthetic nanoporous geomaterials: from nanoscale-resolution 3D imaging to nano-3D-printed digital (shale) rock

Jan Goral & Milind Deo - Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Advances in imaging have made it possible to view nanometer and sub-nanometer structures that are either synthesized or that occur naturally. It is believed that fluid dynamic and thermodynamic behavior differ significantly at these scales from the bulk. From a materials perspective, it is important to be able to create complex structures at the nanometer scale, reproducibly, so that the fluid behavior may be studied. New advances in nanoscale-resolution 3D-printing offer opportunities to achieve this goal. In particular, additive manufacturing with two-photon polymerization allows creation of intricate structures. Using this technology, a creation of the first nano-3D-printed digital (shale) rock is reported. In this paper, focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) nano-tomography image dataset was used to reconstruct a high-resolution digital rock 3D model of a Marcellus Shale rock sample. Porosity of this 3D model has been characterized and its connected/effective pore system has been extracted and nano-3D-printed. The workflow of creating this novel nano-3D-printed digital rock 3D model is described in this paper.

How PerGeos is used

The FIB-SEM nano-tomography image dataset was then processed and segmented using the PerGeos software – in this paper, all 3D models were generated using this software.