The evolution of pores and fluids due to thermal effects is a key factor for predicting shale gas production. However, different fluid types and a wide range of pore sizes pose difficulties for characterization. We experimentally changed the fluid distribution and maturity of shales by pyrolysis on an Eagle Ford sample and a northern Rocky Mountains sample. Initial fluid conditions of shale samples were determined by NMR T1-T2 measurement. The samples were heated at 110°C, 250°C, 450°C, and 650°C, and T1-T2 measurements were performed after each level. The obtained T1 and T2 distributions were mapped to T1/T2 ratio (R) and secular relaxation time (Ts) for better characterization of different fluid distributions. Further, a difference index was used to quantify the overall distribution difference in R-Ts space.
According to the results, the Eagle Ford sample is dominated by an oil signal, whereas the northern Rocky Mountains sample has a mixture of oil, water and organic matter signal. Fluid volume decreases with increasing temperature. Heating at 110°C or 250°C reduces the fluid volume through the course of evaporation of water and hydrocarbon. The signal of OM is also revealed due to the fluid evaporation. Heating at 450°C and 650°C will alter the maturity of OM, resulting the change of distribution shape of T1-T2 due to change of pore structure. The thermal effects lead two samples to have a similar evolution pattern during thermal maturation.
Optical grating technique, where optical gratings are generated via light inference, has been widely used to measure charge carrier and phonon transport in semiconductors. In this paper, compared are three types of transient optical grating techniques: transient grating diffraction, transient grating heterodyne, and grating imaging, by utilizing them to measure carrier diffusion coefficient in a GaAs/AlAs superlattice. Theoretical models are constructed for each technique to extract the carrier diffusion coefficient, and the results from all three techniques are consistent. Our main findings are: (1) the transient transmission change obtained from transient grating heterodyne and grating imaging techniques are identical, even these two techniques originate from different detection principles; and (2) By adopting detection of transmission change (heterodyne amplification) instead of pure diffraction, the grating imaging technique (transient grating heterodyne) has overwhelming advantage in signal intensity than the transient grating diffraction, with a signal intensity ratio of 315:1 (157:1).
A high electrical and thermal conductivity coupled with low costs make copper (Cu) an enticing alternative to aluminum for fabrication of interconnects in packaging applications. To tap into the benefits of the ever-reducing size of transistors, it is required to increase the input/output (I/O) pin count on electronic chips and thus minimize the size of chip to board interconnects. Laser sintering of Cu nanoparticle (NP) inks can serve as a promising process for developing these micron sized, 3D interconnect structures. However, the exact processing windows for Cu NP sintering are not well known. Therefore, this paper presents an extensive experimental investigation of the sintering processing window with different lasers including femtosecond (fs), nanosecond (ns) and continuous-wave (CW) lasers. The dependence of the processing window on Cu layer thicknesses and laser exposure durations has also been investigated. A simplified model to estimate optimum laser sintering windows for Cu NPs using pulsed lasers is presented and the predicted estimates are compared against the experimental results. Given the simplicity of the model, it is shown to provide good estimates for fluence required for the onset of sintering and the processing window for good sintering of Cu NPs.
There is a growing need to monitor anthropogenic organic contaminants detected in water sources. DNA aptamers are synthetic single-stranded oligonucleotides, selected to bind to target contaminants with favorable selectivity and sensitivity. These aptamers can be functionalized and are used with a variety of sensing platforms to develop sensors, or aptasensors. In this critical review, we (1) identify the state-of-the-art in DNA aptamer selection, (2) evaluate target and aptamer properties that make for sensitive and selective binding and sensing, (3) determine strengths and weaknesses of alternative sensing platforms, and (4) assess the potential for aptasensors to quantify environmentally relevant concentrations of organic contaminants in water. Among a suite of target and aptamer properties, binding affinity is either directly (e.g., organic carbon partition coefficient) or inversely (e.g., polar surface area) correlated to properties that indicate greater target hydrophobicity results in the strongest binding aptamers, and binding affinity is correlated to aptasensor limits of detection. Electrochemical-based aptasensors show the greatest sensitivity, which is similar to ELISA-based methods. Only a handful of aptasensors can detect organic pollutants at environmentally relevant concentrations, and interference from structurally similar analogs commonly present in natural waters is a yet-to-be overcome challenge. These findings lead to recommendations to improve aptasensor performance.
In this work, we experimentally demonstrate metasurface-enhanced photoresponse in organic photodetectors. We have designed and integrated a metasurface with broadband functionality into an organic photodetector, with the goal of significantly increasing the absorption of light and generated photocurrent from 560 up to 690 nm. We discuss how the metasurface can be integrated with the fabrication of an organic photodiode. Our results show large gains in responsivity from 1.5x to 2X between 560 and 690 nm.
The environmental impacts of a typical hydraulic fracturing operation for shale gas recovery were evaluated using life cycle assessment, with energy demands for well drilling and fracturing determined from GHGfrack model. Dominant environmental impacts stem from well construction, which are >63% in all categories (e.g., global warming and eutrophication), and mainly due to diesel fuel combustion and steel production. The relative impacts related to water use (i.e., fracturing fluid components, water/wastewater transportation, and wastewater disposal) are relatively small, ranging from 5 to 22% of total impacts in all categories; freshwater consumption for fracturing is also a small fraction of available water resources for the shale play considered. The impacts of replacing slickwater with CO2 or CH4-foam fracturing fluid (≤10 vol % water) were evaluated; total impacts decrease <12%, and relative impacts related to water use decrease to 2–9% of total impacts. Hence, switching to a foam-based fracturing fluid can substantially decrease water-related impacts (>60%) but has only marginal effects on total environmental impacts. Changes in lateral well length, produced to fresh-water ratios, fracturing fluid composition, and LCA control volume do not change these findings. More benefits could potentially be realized by considering water versus foam-related impacts of ecological health and energy production.
More than 10% of the global human population is now afflicted with kidney stones, which are commonly associated with other significant health problems including diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Nearly 70% of these stones are primarily composed of calcium oxalate, a mineral previously assumed to be effectively insoluble within the kidney. This has limited currently available treatment options to painful passage and/or invasive surgical procedures. We analyze kidney stone thin sections with a combination of optical techniques, which include bright field, polarization, confocal and super-resolution nanometer-scale auto-fluorescence microscopy. Here we demonstrate using interdisciplinary geology and biology (geobiology) approaches that calcium oxalate stones undergo multiple events of dissolution as they crystallize and grow within the kidney. These observations open a fundamentally new paradigm for clinical approaches that include in vivo stone dissolution and identify high-frequency layering of organic matter and minerals as a template for biomineralization in natural and engineered settings.
Methane hydrates in fine‐grained continental slope sediments often occupy isolated depth intervals surrounded by hydrate‐free sediments. As they are not connected to deep gas sources, these hydrate deposits have been interpreted as sourced by in situ microbial methane. We investigate here the hypothesis that these isolated hydrate accumulations form preferentially in sediments deposited during Pleistocene glacial lowstands that contain relatively large amounts of labile particulate organic carbon, leading to enhanced microbial methanogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we apply an advection‐diffusion‐reaction model with a time‐dependent organic carbon deposition controlled by glacioeustatic sea level variations. In the model, hydrate forms in sediments with greater organic carbon content deposited during the penultimate glacial cycle (~120–240 ka). The model predictions match hydrate‐bearing intervals detected in three sites drilled on the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope, supporting the hypothesis of hydrate formation driven by enhanced organic carbon burial during glacial lowstands.