Three-Dimensional X-ray Microtomography

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Science  18 Sep 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4821, pp. 1439-1444
DOI: 10.1126/science.237.4821.1439


The new technique of x-ray microtomography nondestructively generates three-dimensional maps of the x-ray attenuation coefficient inside small samples with approximately 1 percent accuracy and with resolution approaching 1 micrometer. Spatially resolved elemental maps can be produced with synchrotron x-ray sources by scanning samples at energies just above and below characteristic atomic absorption edges. The system consists of a high-resolution imaging x-ray detector and high-speed algorithms for tomographic image reconstruction. The design and operation of the microtomography device are described, and tomographic images that illustrate its performance with both synchrotron and laboratory x-ray sources are presented.