Low Energy X-ray Imaging

The development of new X-ray Computed-Tomography (XCT) methods is an outstanding capability of Empa's Center for X-ray Analytics. Combined with state-of-the-art image reconstruction and processing, using in-house and commercial tools, it offers quantitative, qualitative and non-destructive analysis for a wide range of materials and tissues with spatial resolutions even below one micrometer.

Special X-ray methods are also available for special materials. Structured materials with structure sizes from nanometres to millimetres and poor absorption can be analysed with X-ray Phase Contrast Imaging (XPCI) systems or Small Angle Scattering (SAXS) tools. This extensive know-how is completed with development projects for novel X-ray sources and detectors. The center offers unique possibilities to advance X-ray analytics to new levels and make it accessible for material classes where it was not used before.

Basic and applied developments in the domains of coating characterisation, wood analysis, rope improvements, bone-mineral density analysis, biofilm imaging, cartilage imaging, artefact reduction and many others are part of the activities of the group.

Virtual Institute New X-ray Analytical Methods in Materials Science

The VI-NXMM is a cooperation of eight real academic institutes all active in the domain of X-ray technology. Since 2011 it develops novel methods and instruments for X-ray materials analysis. It is financed by the German Helmholtz-Society and involves universities, government labs and Helmholtz-centres themselves. In total 39 scientists cooperate in the Virtual Institute. Examples of its activities comprise high-precision X-ray lenses and mirrors for nano-imaging and nano-diffraction applications, or grating based X-ray phase-contrast-, darkfield- and vector-imaging.

More information: http://www.x-ray-imaging.eu



Wood cells of a 400 year-old violin (M. Gilani / Empa)


Aerogel composite with pseudo-coloured aerogel-grains (M. Köbel / Empa)


Bone sample, late iron age (M. Moghaddam / U Berne)


Foam-based automotive catalyst (F. Lucci / Empa)