NanoXCT - Compact X-ray computed tomography system for nondestructive characterization of nano materials
Within the past decades, advances in miniaturization from micro to nano-scale have had dramatic impacts on our lives. Consumer electronics, which once occupied large volumes, now fit in the palm of a hand. But nanotechnology does not only improve in electronics. Also material sciences, chemical engineering, or biology are strongly profiting from nanotechnology. The tremendous achievements in all of these areas would not have been possible without the material analytics in behind. Material analytics for nano-scale characterization currently covers destructive methods, surface inspection methods, or 2D methods.
To date it is not possible to get a comprehensive representation of a specimen including internal and external 3D-structure analysis as well as a chemical analysis without destroying the probe. In this respect nano-scale material analytics is currently on the edge of a new era, which is targeted in NanoXCT. The project addresses the limitations of conventional techniques using 3D X-ray computed tomography, which allows for a non destructive and fully three dimensional characterization of specimens. In order to facilitate X-ray computed tomography at the nanometer scale, NanoXCT comprises a novel concept of an ultra-bright X-ray source in combination with a high precision focusing and emission system. Furthermore, a highly sensitive, photon counting wide field of view small pitch X-ray detector concept will be included. The concept is perfected by a high precision manipulation system, which allows for alternative scanning geometries as helical CT, and a suitable software environment for data processing and analysis.
NanoXCT links the activities of 10 partners from 7 European countries including 5 SMEs to design, develop and implement a desktop X-ray computed tomography system for non-destructive characterization of nano materials and components. The targeted specifications yield a wide field of view of 1mm, a probe size of up to 1mm³ and a voxel size of 50 nm.