Recently, lab-based nanoscale X-ray microscopy (XRM) has moved well beyond traditional microCT by incorporating synchrotron-style optics, extending spatial resolution to 50 nm to complement microCT and fill a portion of the span between sub-nanometer and bulk 3D imaging.
This length scale opens up a unique domain of nondestructive characterization, offering the ability to probe 3D structures from the micron to nanometer scale in a way that is not possible with any other approach. To leverage this new scale of investigation, and complement established in situ methods implemented elsewhere (microCT, optical, and electron microscopy) an in situ load stage has been designed and incorporated into a nanoscale XRM.
The device applies tension, compression, and nanoindentation loading modes to samples tens to hundreds of microns in size, with the power to connect bulk material properties with detailed observations of internal, 3D deformation events occurring at the nano- and micron-scale.
This work covers applications of the XRM technique, including examples from a variety of 3D structures spanning metals to biomaterials, along with 4D experiments to observe crack initiation and compressive deformation.