At the Microscopy & Microanalysis (M&M) 2012 Annual Meeting, Bruker has introduced its new micro-computed tomography (CT) accessory for scanning electron microscopes (SEM).
Micro-CT for SEM can add 2D and 3D high-resolution X-ray imaging capabilities to third-party SEMs, allowing the nondestructive analysis of internal microstructures of specimens in numerous applications, including composite materials, ceramics, electronic components, filter materials, paper, wood, plants and many others.
Bruker's Micro-CT for SEM can be attached to most SEM models without the need for any modification to the microscope.
The system includes a microscanner with a target that produces X-rays when hit by the electron beam, an object rotation stage, and a motorized linear stage to vary the distance between the X-ray emission point and the object for adjusting the magnification of the X-ray images.
The microscanner can be installed inside the specimen chamber in place of standard object holders. A direct detection 16 bit CCD camera is used to record shadow projections of the object's internal microstructure.
Typical exposure times are 2-10 seconds per projection at electron beam currents of 100-500 nA. The X-ray camera is air-cooled and available with either 512x512 or 1024x1024 pixel resolution.
The Micro-CT for SEM is suitable to analyze objects with up to 4 mm diameter and up to 10 mm length without the need for any specific preparation.
Due to the extremely well focused X-ray source, and the precision rotation stage with a minimum step size of 0.45°, details of down to 400 nm size can be visualized in 3D.
The Micro-CT for SEM is supplied with a powerful software suite including an acquisition program, a 3D reconstruction module, and a versatile package for 2D and 3D numerical morphology analysis.
In addition, a program for 3D rendering is available to create realistic visual models and movies for virtual travel through the entire sample volume.
Thomas Schülein, President of the Bruker Nano Analytics division, commented: "We are excited to take on worldwide distribution of this unique product following Bruker's acquisition of SkyScan N.V. earlier this year. The Micro-CT for SEM accessory nicely complements Bruker's existing portfolio of analytical tools for electron microscopy, enabling our customers to perform even more comprehensive sample characterization in materials research and life science applications."