Developments in synchrotron X-Ray Computed Microtomography at the National Synchrotron Light Source

Betsy A. Dowd, Graham H. Campbell, Robert B. Marr, Vivek Nagarkar, Sameer Tipnis, Lisa Axe, D. Peter Siddons

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


Last year, the X27A beamline at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) became dedicated solely to X-Ray Computed Microtomography (XCMT). This is a third-generation instrument capable of producing tomographic volumes of 1-2 micron resolution over a 2-3 mm field of view. Recent enhancements will be discussed. These have focussed on two issues: the desire for real-time data acquisition and processing and the need for highly monochromatic beam (.1% energy bandpass). The latter will permit k-edge subtraction studies and will provide improved image contrast from below the Cr (6 keV) up to the Cs (36 keV) k-edge. A range of applications that benefit from these improvements will be discussed as well. These two goals are somewhat counterproductive, however; higher monochromaticity yields a lower flux forcing longer data acquisition times. To balance the two, a more efficient scintillator for X-ray conversion is being developed. Some testing of a prototype scintillator has been performed; preliminary results will be presented here. In the meantime, data reconstruction times have been reduce, and the entire tomographic acquisition, reconstruction and volume rendering process streamlined to make efficient use of synchrotron beam time. A Fast Filtered Back Transform (FFBT) reconstruction program recently developed helped to reduce the time to reconstruct a volume of 150×150×250 pixels3 (over 5 million voxels) from the raw camera data to 1.5 minutes on a dual R10,000 CPU. With these improvements, one can now obtain a `quick look' of a small tomographic volume (approximately 106 voxels) in just over 15 minutes from the start of data acquisition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-236
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1999 Developments in X-Ray Tomography II - Denver, CO, USA
Duration: Jul 22 1999Jul 23 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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