allows detailed information to be gathered from below the surface of a material through either full-field imaging, where the whole sample is illuminated, or through scanning, where the beam is focused to a small spot which is scanned across the sample. The high intensity and energy of the synchrotron X-rays produced at Diamond make it possible to image a much larger range of materials and sample thicknesses than conventional X-ray sources, and the brilliance of the synchrotron source produces very high-resolution images. The parallel, monochromatic beam enhances the image quality beyond what is possible with laboratory techniques and in a non-destructive manner. These high intensity X-rays also permit very fast measurements for high speed imaging experiments, monitoring changes in the sample during real-time, in situ
An imaging technique called X-ray (computed) tomography allows creation of three-dimensional reconstructions of the internal sample volume from a series of two-dimensional projections taken at different orientations. By creating a virtual image using tomographic reconstruction, it is possible to view any cross-section of the virtual image at any angle.
has many applications in the material science, engineering and biomedical fields. It can be used to characterise the internal structure of porous materials such as trabecular bone or metal foams. Tomography
can be used to determine the size and shape of cracks and other defects inside components such as aircraft and automotive parts, where unexpected failures could have catastrophic results. Because it is non-destructive, X-ray tomography
can be used to study the internal structure of precious and unique objects in archaeology and palaeontology – for example studying ancient insects fossilised in amber.