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A primer on the use of the nano3DX high-resolution X-ray microscope

Winter 2015 Volume 31, No. 1
10-15
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Yoshihiro Takeda and Kensaku Hamada

The nano3DX is an X-ray microscope with submicron spatial resolution, employing a quasi-parallel beam, near-detector system comprised of a unique high-intensity X-ray source and a high-resolution X-ray detector. By selecting the X-ray energy to that is most appropriate for the sample, the instrument is capable of observing the microstructure of various samples such as pharmaceuticals, biological tissues, organic composite materials, and electronic materials, in either 2D (X-ray photography) or 3D (computed tomography) modalities, even where the differences in the density of sample components are not significant.

The nano3DX can be used for a number of different applications, and provides various structural information. For example, the observation of a pharmaceutical tablet allows us to characterize its structural features including flacking, cracking and density distribution inside the tablet as well as the features of the coat layer including its thickness and cracking/flacking in it. With organic composite materials, one would observe the orientation of filler and fibers, peeling of the filler and/or fiber off the base material, and the distribution/orientation of voids. In observation of biological tissues, one might want to visualize the structure of small tissues or even measure their length.

While the nano3DX will provide good results using the default measurement condition, fine tuning the measurement parameters often improves the result for a specific application. This article is intended to provide the readers with a basic knowledge of X-ray absorption, X-ray projected images, and computed tomography that can be utilized to design the optimum measurement for their purposes. Actual measurement examples using the nano3DX will be given to elucidate basic principles of X-ray microscopes and how one can choose measurement parameters for obtaining high-quality data.

 

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