X-ray Facilities

Xradia MicroXCT-400 Micro-Computed Tomography
The MicroXCT uses X-rays to visualise the surface and internal structures of a specimen in three dimensions, typically without extensive or destructive specimen preparation. The samples are imaged at atmospheric pressure. The maximum sample size that can be imaged is 500 mm diameter by 400 mm height. The instrument is capable of submicron resolution (0.7 µm) – at this resolution the sample width needs to be 600 µm. The X-ray energy can be varied between 40 kV and 150 kV. The instrument can collect images by absorption contrast as well as 'phase contrast' making it suitable to image a wide range of specimens including: both hard and soft biological tissues as well as minerals, ceramics, polymers etc.

Xradia NanoXCT-100 Nano-Computed Tomography
The NanoXCT is a specialised instrument that can scan small samples with a resolution down to 50 nm. It can non-destructively obtain 3-D information from internal structures at 2 volumes: 64 µm3 (resolution 150 nm) and 16 µm3 (resolution 50 nm). Sample sizes need to be 100 µm or less to achieve instrument resolution. It can image in absorption mode as well as phase contrast (this greatly improves image contrast for low-atomic-number samples and should greatly enhance the ability to scan soft biological specimens and polymers). The X-ray source operates at 8 kV. Instrument scan times can be quite long and would typically be two days for optimal results.

Specialists for the Xradia instruments: Dr Matt Foley

  Xradia Micro- and Nano-Computed Tomography
   

Skyscan 1072 Micro-Computed Tomography
The Micro-CT uses a microfocus X-ray source to visualise the surface and internal structures of a specimen in three dimensions, without extensive or destructive specimen preparation. The maximum resolution attainable with the Micro-CT is approximately 2 µm, however this depends on the size of the sample being scanned. At lower resolutions (24 µm) sample sizes may be as big as 5 cm3, while at higher resolutions the maximum sample size may be 4-5 mm3. The energy of the X-ray beam is also variable (up to 100 KeV 98 µA) to adjust for specimens of various densities.

During scanning, the specimen is rotated in small increments over 180°C or 360°C and an X-ray projection image is captured at each step. After scanning, a cone-beam reconstruction program is used to turn the projection images into a stack of 1000 cross-sections. These cross-sections can be used with a variety of image analysis and 3-D volume rendering software packages for 2-D or 3-D morphometrical analysis, or to produce 3-D images and animations.

Micro-CT relies on a density difference between the structure of interest and the surrounding material. Porous materials (minerals, ceramics, polymers) are particularly suited to this method. Other applications include bone, teeth, lung tissue, archaeological and paleontological specimens, coral and wood.

Example:
Fig. 1: 3-D rendering of rat trabecular bone.
Fig. 2: 3-D rendering of the pore spaces and silicate inclusions in a mineral sample.

Specialists: Dr Matt Foley, Adam Sikorski

  Skyscan 1072 Micro-Computed Tomography
   

XRD Siemens D5000
This X-ray diffraction unit (Theta/2Theta) has tube with Cu target and maximum power 2200 W and is designed to study crystal faces on the flat specimen's surface.

  • The specimen stage can hold for powder or solid specimens.
  • Maximum size of specimen is: 50 mm x 50 mm x 20 mm.
  • Scan range is: 1-150 deg.

Example:
Typical XRD scan: y-intensity, x-peak position. A series of peak position is characteristic for crystal faces. In this case blue shows corundum and red shows nickel oxide.

Specialists: Dr Matt Foley, Adam Sikorski

  XRD Siemens D5000

Typical XRD scan

   

XRD Shimadzu S6000
This X-ray diffraction unit (Theta/2Theta) has Cu target and max. power 2000 W.

  • It has multi specimen holder which holds maximum 5 powder sample holders.
  • Also has heating stage for in-situ temperature scans up to 1000°C with possibility temp environment control during scan.
  • The scan range is: 1-150 deg.

Specialists: Dr Matt Foley, Adam Sikorski

  XRD Shimadzu S6000