Thermal Indices Innovation

Science Center Objects

Thermal indices innovation utilizes correlative microscopy techniques for innovative approaches to thermal indices development, including confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), AFM-IR (combined atomic force and infrared microscopy), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and SEM of Argon ion-milled sample surfaces combined with traditional organic petrography. The innovation task also is testing integrated correlative light and electron microscopy (iCLEM) to simultaneously probe scales ranging from tens of microns to several nanometers in the same instrument. This effort may provide new understanding of the development of organic porosity with thermal maturity in tight (shale) oil and gas systems, e.g., Eagle Ford, Marcellus and Bakken shales, where organic porosity may serve a primary hydrocarbon migration and storage function. Work in this task partners with many external organizations, including CLSM at the BGR and Univ. of Maryland, AFM-IR with the Univ. of Delaware, AFM with Hitachi, among others.


Use correlative light and SEM techniques to document the development of organic porosity in different thermal regimes, organic matter types, and at a range of scales. Innovate new applications of specialized microscopes to chemical characterization of organic matter across a range of thermal maturities in the North American shale plays.