Materials Characterization

Researchers in the Materials Characterization Research competency conduct studies of both natural and engineered materials from the micropore (nanometers) to macropore (meters) scale. Research includes, but is not limited to, thermal, chemical, mechanical, and structural (nano to macro) interactions and processes with regard to natural and engineered materials. The primary research investigation tools include SEM, XRD, micro XRD, core logging, medical CT, industrial CT, micro CT, infrared absorption, and laser optical techniques. Specific capabilities include:

Chemical & Thermal Analysis

  • Materials characterization, development, and synthesis for energy conversion and production.
  • Separation and storage materials, catalysts, and energy-relevant products and intermediates such as liquid transportation fuels and chemicals.
  • Chemistry, materials characterization, geology, geochemistry, engineering, and environmental chemistry.
  • Catalysts, nanomaterials, engineered sorptive materials, metallurgy, alloys, refractory ceramics, geologic materials (shale, sandstone, carbonates, coal, and clays), and fluids.

Microscopic Analysis

  • Developing methods and analytical techniques for multifaceted geologic and engineered systems.
  • Evaluating biological, chemical, material, and physical processes in natural and engineered systems.
  • Carbon dioxide capture and storage, unconventional systems, hydrocarbon production, natural gas hydrates, wellbore integrity, and geothermal systems, and geothermal systems.

Structural Analysis

  • Geologic mechanisms at the core scale and energy production impacts on natural and man-made materials.
  • Core-scale flow experiments, long-term saturation and exposure experiments on geologic materials, separations by membrane and sorbent materials, materials corrosion and degradation studies.
  • Materials chemistry and characterization, geology and geochemistry, engineering, environmental chemistry, and image analysis.
  • Research involving geologic and manmade materials (shale, sandstone, carbonates, coal, clays, cement, sorbents, catalysts and inorganic separation membrane materials).