Two samples of illite-smectite (I-S) isolated from Upper Jurassic clays in well 2/7-3 (3365 m) and well 2/11-1 (4548 m) have been investigated by scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), and the particle shape and dimensions have been correlated to results from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on shadowed specimens and results from atomic-force microscopy (AFM). By STM, lath-like and equant particles were observed in both samples, some of the particles having sharp edges. In the I-S from well 2/11-1, spiral-shaped particles were also seen. For both samples, the most frequent particle diameter was 100–200 Å. Particle-thickness distributions from STM and TEM were similar for the I-S from well 2/7-3, being dominated by 10 Å thick particles. For I-S from 2/11-1, the STM particle-thickness distribution has a predominance of 20 Å thick particles, but the TEM particle-thickness distribution is broad, with about equal amounts of 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 Å thick particles. The AFM particle-thickness distribution for this I-S resembles the TEM thickness distribution. It is concluded that mainly thin (10 and 20 Å) particles are seen by STM. Failure of AFM to show sharp particle edges (seen in STM and TEM) might be attributed to the AFM tip movement or tip shape. In STM, I-S particles from well 2/7-3 have peaks along edges, whereas I-S particles from well 2/11-1 have rims. These rims are also seen in AFM and are therefore real geometrical features, probably a result of two-dimensional growth, whereas the spirals in the I-S from well 2/11-1 demonstrate three-dimensional growth. The minimum thickness of most particles is 10 Å.