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Open AccessArticle

Nano-Tomography of Porous Geological Materials Using Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscopy

Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 1, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Budapestlaan 4, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Cristiana L. Ciobanu and Nigel J. Cook
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 104;
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 23 September 2016 / Accepted: 28 September 2016 / Published: 10 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Analytical Techniques)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: FIB-SEM; tomography; porosity; segmentation FIB-SEM; tomography; porosity; segmentation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; King, H.E.; Van Huis, M.A.; Drury, M.R.; Plümper, O. Nano-Tomography of Porous Geological Materials Using Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscopy. Minerals 2016, 6, 104.

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