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Home > Press > Nature paper by Schlumberger researchers used photothermal based nanoscale IR spectroscopy to analyze heterogeneous process of petroleum generation

Abstract:
Anasys Instruments’ nanoIR2™, AFM based nanoscale IR spectroscopy system, researchers at the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center and US Geological Survey provided for the first time the simultaneous geochemical and geomechanical characterization of individual dispersed organic matter particles in shale. The results were published in Nature Communications.

Nature paper by Schlumberger researchers used photothermal based nanoscale IR spectroscopy to analyze heterogeneous process of petroleum generation

Santa Barbara, CA | Posted on January 23rd, 2018

Using Anasys Instruments’ nanoIR2™, AFM based nanoscale IR spectroscopy system, researchers at the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center and US Geological Survey provided for the first time the simultaneous geochemical and geomechanical characterization of individual dispersed organic matter particles in shale. The results were published in Nature Communications. Dr. Andrew Pomerantz, Principal Research Scientist at Schlumberger, and colleagues obtained AFM-IR spectra of shale that was pyrolyzed to simulate thermal maturation, enabling them to visualize the process on a maceral-by-maceral basis. The team was able to conclude that the maturation process results in a change in individual maceral composition and overall concentration, that is consistent with previous bulk studies. “IR spectroscopy has been quite valuable for bulk characterization of kerogen, but natural shale rocks contain kerogen that can be heterogeneous at length scales below the diffraction limit. The combination of IR spectroscopy with AFM detection can probe the composition of different grains of kerogen at small length scales, measuring how the different pieces evolve as petroleum is generated,” said Pomerantz. “We found that some kerogen pieces undergo extensive changes in composition while others barely change at all, and these results give us additional insight into how oil occurs in nature.“ The latest generation nanoIR2-FS™ provides nanoscale IR absorption spectroscopy using a unique method that breaks the diffraction limit of conventional IR spectroscopy by >100x. Nanoscale IR spectroscopy is able to measure a wide range of material types, ranging from life sciences to 2D materials, polymeric systems, and more.

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