Interior Tomography

Understanding XRM Technology
Interior Tomography
3D X-ray Vision


Preserve Your Valuable Samples (until you’re ready to sacrifice them)

Study materials and microstructure in 3D, at high resolution, without sacrificing your samples to destructive techniques. X-ray microscopy (XRM) lets you visualize deeply buried features and microstructural evolution without having to cross-section samples as you do with optical and electron microscope imaging.

While serial sectioning techniques like FIB-SEM and microtomy damage or consume samples, ZEISS XRM solutions quantify internal structural parameters at submicron resolution—and preserve the integrity of samples for further investigation. Enhance the power of your imaging techniques adding 3D XRM to complement:

  • 2D Slicing Methods. Optical or electron microscopy impose limits by requiring mechanical sectioning that can damage sample structures, alter features, and introduce mechanical artifacts from physical cutting, laser damage, or exposure to the atmosphere.
  • 3D Serial Sectioning. Modern characterization techniques construct 3D results from images captured using optical and electron microscopy, but not without drawbacks. Repeated slicing involves multiple factors— resolution, spacing, accuracy of cut placement—and retains damage resulting from interior sectioning. Samples get consumed in the process, preventing you from including them in 4D studies of evolution over time.
  • Stereography. Extrapolating 2D images to 3D metrics can be highly inaccurate, especially for real-world materials that are often heterogeneous or anisotropic.

Because frequently cited parameters such as minimum voxel, nominal resolution, spot size, and detail detectability provide only partial insight into a system’s ability to resolve an image, spatial resolution provides the most meaningful method of evaluating an instrument’s performance.


3D X-ray Microscopy: Architected for Advantage

The deep penetration of X-rays minimizes the need for extensive sample preparation. ZEISS Xradia Versa and Xradia Ultra solutions extend micro-CT capabilities with:

  • Multi-length scale imaging from 50nm to 1mm
  • Submicron to nanometer scale resolution
  • High contrast to accurately quantify internal structural information
  • Phase contrast for imaging low contrast, or low Z, features and materials
  • Industry-leading in situ solution
  • High resolution at large working distances

The result? Superior visualization and quantification of your 3D microstructures.

Applications and Techniques

Extend the advantages of ZEISS’ unique 3D XRM architecture to a wide range of studies:

  • Porous materials and virtual core analysis
  • Fragile materials such as fossils and low Z materials such as polymer foams
  • Submicron defects within intact semiconductor packages (or nanometer voids in advanced TSV)
  • Ex-vivo preclinical investigations of unstained soft materials requiring high contrast
  • In-situ and microstructural evolution requiring repeated imaging of samples under load and varying conditions to quantify microstructure

For more information on interior tomography, please review our Tech Note 3D X-ray Vision by visiting Downloads.