X-ray micro-tomography (μCT) is a powerful technique for non-destructive, micron-resolution 3D imaging of internal structures. Thanks to applications in biology, materials science and geophysics, μCT has been adopted in a broad range of research and commercial sectors including the CTLab here at the ANU. A dedicated beamline for high-resolution tomography is being built at the Australian Synchrotron, and mainstream companies (GE, Zeiss, FEI, etc.) are heavily involved in the commercialization of μCT.
As X-ray μCT technology matures, its limitations have become increasingly apparent. Resolution and image quality are limited by physical mechanisms that do not fit within the established mathematical models, such as refraction, sample motion, and energy-dependent effects. This has led to a shift in the focus of μCT research: instead of attempting to further reduce the impact of these physical phenomena, we are now exploring and exploiting them to develop entirely new imaging modalities.
In this presentation I will discuss how new software and hardware developments at the ANU X-ray CT facility have enabled us to move beyond traditional μCT models. In particular, I will focus on three emerging imaging techniques: (i) refraction-contrast tomography for imaging light elements, (ii) energy-sensitive X-ray tomography for materials discrimination; and (iii) dynamic tomography for the imaging of rapidly-evolving samples.
Dr Glenn Myers was awarded his PhD from Monash University in 2009. After this, he took up a postdoctoral research position in the Department of Applied Mathematics, at the ANU.