What is 3D X-Ray Microscopy?

Application Examples

Capabilities beyond microCT

A new field of 3D X-ray microscopy (XRM) has emerged, bringing dramatic resolution and contrast improvements to X-ray tomographic imaging. It offers more than traditional X-ray microCT for a variety of applications.

  • Materials Characterization: Composites
  • Microstructural Evolution: Metals
  • Process Development: Additive Manufacturing
  • Failure Analysis: Electronics

Composite sample imaged at 0.8 micron voxel. Sample courtesy of Professor Milani, University of British Columbia

Materials Characterization: Composites

  • The superior contrast and resolution of XRM facilitates easier separation of low Z materials at sub-micron resolution
  • Quantitative information such as void content, fiber orientation, and fiber distribution is easily determined
  • Complex composite image is segmented to a 3D dataset of glass fibers (green), polypropylene fibers (orange), and voids (white)

Steel sample imaged at 1.5 micron voxel. Sample provided by Sandia National Laboratories

Microstructural Evolution: Metals

  • 3D in situ imaging requires samples inside larger load stage. XRM's unique detector design allows for large working distances while maintaining "Resolution at a Distance" (RaaD)
  • RaaD allows you to non-destructively characterize and quantify the evolution of 3D microstructures with high resolution
  • Images show in situ tensile testing of a laser welded steel sample under increasing load. The data reveals a crack initiating from rough surface imperfections (top), as well as the elongation of internal voids (bottom)
Aluminum additive manufacturing part images at 20 micron full field of view and 3 micron ROI. Sample courtesy of Aalen University

Process Development: Additive Manufacturing

  • XRM allows you to choose an interior sample region for interior tomography while keeping samples intact
  • Unlike microCT, with unique detector design you can select your magnification and field-of-view to optimize resolution - just like in a microscope!
  • XRM scans can measure porosity with sub-micron resolution and be used for 3D printing files (STL)
Intact 50 mm 2.5 interposer sample imaged at 14.5 μm and 1 μm voxel resolution

Failure Analysis: Electronics

  • Video shows non-destructive imaging of an electronics package with 2.5D interposer after thermal cycling. Internal defects in C4 and micro-bumps are clearly visualized
  • "Resolution-at-a-Distance" (RaaD) allows region of interest imaging at high resolution (<1 micron voxel resolution) with no sample trimming
  • This technique allows observation of failure evolution during progressive testing in many devices, as well as general non-destructive investigation of packaging failures of all types

Download the Whitepaper

    • What is 3D X-ray Microscopy?

      High-resolution Non-destructive Imaging of Internal Structures

      Pages: 4
      File size: 488 KB

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