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Digitalcore Wins 2012 Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation! - ACT Node

September 2012

Digitalcore logo Digitalcore logo The ability to rapidly and efficiently analyse core samples for prospective oil and gas exploration operations using micro and nanotechnology is enabling more effective extraction of hydro-carbons. Digitalcore Pty Ltd has won the prestigious 2012 Eureka Prize for Commercialisation of Innovation for their efforts bringing this technology to the international oil and gas industry.

Digitalcore, a long time client of the ACT node, provides 3-dimensional analysis of core samples, primarily using
x-ray CT scanning. For some samples, such as shales and tight gas, CT scanning does not have the resolution to see the nano-scale features required for a meaningful analysis. Using the Focused Ion Beam (FIB) system and expert staff at the ACT Node, Digitalcore has developed a nano-scale 3D imaging technique. The technique uses a focused gallium ion beam to mill a small hole in the sample. Using the scanning electron beam integrated into the FIB system the edge of this hole can be imaged. Images of subsequent slices milled from the edge of the hole can be combined to create a single 3D image with nanoscale resolution.

"Together with ANFF, we have been leading the application of these (FIB) systems on rock samples to produce nanoscale 3D images of tight unconventional geological systems such as shales and tight gas." said Dr Victor Pantano, CEO of Digitalcore. "This work is important as these geological samples cannot be analysed using traditional means, and thus the work with the ANFF provides a means of characterising these increasingly important oil and gas bearing formations."

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