Press Release

ZEISS introduces the first crystallographic CT system

Expanding the range of solutions for non-destructive diffraction contrast tomography

24 March 2021 · 3 min read
Press Contact for ZEISS Microscopy Vybhav Sinha

Jena, Germany | 24 March 2021 | ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions

ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions, the performance leader in non-destructive 3D imaging systems, today introduces ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT™ micro-computed tomography (microCT) system to enable 3D crystallographic imaging of polycrystalline materials for a wide range of metal and alloy, additive manufacturing, ceramic, and pharmaceutical samples in industrial and academic laboratories.

A world-first commercial implementation, ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT is purpose-built to deliver diffraction contrast tomography (DCT) on a traditional computed tomography system, allowing researchers to complement absorption contrast tomography data with crystallographic information in three dimensions. ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT is the latest Xradia platform to deliver DCT, developed in collaboration with Xnovo Technology ApS, the pioneer in lab-based diffraction imaging.

  • ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT is the world’s first commercially built laboratory diffraction contrast tomography (DCT) on a microCT.

Seamless large volume grain mapping, increasing data volume representivity compared to traditional, destructive 3D crystallographic methods, is facilitated by advanced acquisition modes that provide stitch-free scanning for fast and accurate 3D grain data. Advanced scanning modes further remove the limitations of size and acquisition speed for a wide range of common samples in high-productivity lab settings. The ability to run larger sample sizes removes limitations in the lab, enabling more sample types and less prep-time resulting in a faster time to analysis. Faster acquisitions speeds enable shorter sample run times, increasing lab productivity.

The ability to image the grain structure and quantify the underlying crystallographic orientation in materials such as metals is instrumental to understanding and optimizing material properties. The non-destructive nature of microCT imaging facilitates the understanding of microstructural evolution in situ, characterizing the impact of thermal, mechanical, or environmental conditions on material behavior. Such studies help to evaluate the performance and durability of new, lighter and stronger advanced materials, and address issues such as functionality, safety, and improved economics.

DCT imaging was previously only available from a synchrotron until it was offered on the ZEISS Xradia 620 Versa 3D X-ray microscope as an extension module. In addition to being a DCT platform, ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT is also a class-leading microCT imaging system, providing superb resolution and image quality for a range of 3D imaging needs. It is built on the highly stable ZEISS Xradia Versa base.

  • Aluminum copper alloy imaged and analyzed with ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT. This montage showcases the multimodal nature of information CrystalCT delivers. Aluminum copper alloy imaged in absorption and diffraction contrast tomography. Colors indicate grain orientation overlaid onto absorption data that discern the copper along grain boundaries.

  • This 3D grain map of an aluminum copper sample highlights the sample representivity ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT provides.

    This 3D grain map of an aluminum copper sample highlights the sample representivity ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT provides.Sample courtesy of: M. Kobayashi, Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan. 3D grain map of an Al-4wt%Cu sample with gauge section dimension of (length) 1.25 mm, (width) 1.0 mm and (thickness) 0.5 mm. Sample scanned using helical phyllotaxis HART.

Daniel Sims, head of ZEISS X-ray Microscopy, says, “With CrystalCT, we bring years of leading innovation and advancements on our Xradia Versa platforms to a much wider audience. The market-shaping CrystalCT offers proven performance for a range of 3D imaging needs. Our customers additionally enjoy investment protection as this platform is highly extendable with a wide range of add-on capabilities and can be upgraded to the top of the line Versa models as their business and laboratory needs expand.”
The CEO of Xnovo, Erik Lauridsen, comments, “We are proud to support the next generation of lab-based diffraction imaging that now allows broader access to this capability. By building on our proven expertise in data reconstruction and analysis, we were able to transfer the DCT method to a micro-computed tomography platform. ZEISS’ microCT system provides an ideal environment for this implementation.”

Note: LabDCT, CrystalCT and Xradia are trademarks of Carl Zeiss GmbH. GrainMapper3D is a trademark of Xnovo Technology ApS. Other trademarks that may be mentioned in this release are the intellectual property of their respective owners.

Note to editors: Images and video are available for DCT studies of metals, alloys, pharmaceuticals, geoscience, gemology, semiconductor and other industrial materials.


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 6.3 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2020).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.

With over 32,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.

Further information at


ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions

ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions is the world's only one-stop manufacturer of light, electron, X-ray and ion microscope systems and offers solutions for correlative microscopy. The portfolio comprises of products and services for life sciences, materials and industrial research, as well as education and clinical practice. The unit is headquartered in Jena. Additional production and development sites are located in Oberkochen and Munich, as well as in Cambourne (UK) and Dublin (USA). ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions is part of the Industrial Quality & Research segment.

Press photo download

  • ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT

    ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT is the world’s first commercially built laboratory diffraction contrast tomography (DCT) on a microCT.

    File size: 1 MB
  • ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT

    Aluminum copper alloy imaged and analyzed with ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT.

    File size: 1 MB
  • ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT

    This 3D grain map of an aluminum copper sample highlights the sample representivity ZEISS Xradia CrystalCT provides.

    File size: 2 MB

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