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The Laboratory

The HRXCT scanner “CT-Alpha” was built by ProCon X-ray, Garbsen, Germany. The device is equipped with a microfocus X-ray tube (Feinfocus) featuring a diamond coated target for optimal beam generation.The scanner is equipped with an Oxford Cryo-Jet for temperature-controlled measurements.

Sample size for measurements are limited by their X-ray transparency, field of view of the detector and the desired resolution of the scan. X-ray images are recorded by a Hamamatsu flat panel detector with a size of 105 mm*105 mm.

In the current alignment, the machine provides scans with nominal resolutions ranging from 1,0 µm to 90µm per voxel. Scanning times depend strongly on the sample characteristics but vary usually between several minutes to a number of hours and enable measurements in 4D for suitable samples.

The device is designed for objects ranging from millimeters to few centimeters in size that are to be scanned on the micro-scale. Thanks to collaborations and measurement times at the following institutions, the entire range of CT is available for samples exceeding the capabilities of our in-house HRXCT scanner: (i) Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin for HRXCT measurments; (ii) Swiss Light Source (TOMCAT beam line,) at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Villigen (Switzerland) for nano scale CT with synchrotron radiation; (iii) Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ) also at the Paul Scherrer Institut for neutron CT. Post processing and visualization of the results from all sources is realized within the IT architecture of the lab.

Technical details

X-ray Source: 160 kV microfocus X-ray tube (Yxlon/Feinfocus)
Detector: 2048*2048 pixels (1024*1024 pixels)
Nominal resolution: 1,0 µm (@ max. 2mm sample size)  to 90 µm (@ max. 100 mm sample size)
Data volume: 16 GB (2 GB) per scan
Temperature range: 90 – 490 K

Area of application

The HRXCT scanner is used for a huge variety of samples deriving from the fields of petrology, structural geology, hydrogeology, sedimentology, gemnology (diamonds, gemstones, pearls, ivory), atmospheric sciences (hail grains, frost flowers, sea ice), paleontology (fossils) and other research areas including bio-mineralization, forensic medicine (teeth)………


For more information about Procon X-Ray click here.