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Physics  2006 

Millimeter wave analysis of the dielectric properties of oil shales

DOI: 10.1063/1.2219720

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Natural sedimentation processes give rise to fine layers in shales. If these layers alternate between organic-rich and organic-poor sediments, then the contrast in dielectric properties gives rise to an effective birefringence as the presence of hydrocarbons suppresses the dielectric constant of the host rock. We have measured these effects with a quasioptical millimeter wave setup that is rapid and noncontacting. We find that the strength of this birefringence and the overall dielectric permittivity provide two useful diagnostic of the organic content of oil shales.


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