Microscopy & Microtechniques

New Multi-Scale Imaging System Provides Insight into a Material Internal 3D Structure

Mar 01 2017 Read 693 Times

Materials scientists can now gain valuable insight into the relationships between a material’s structure at the microscopic level and its bulk properties using a new multi-scale imaging solution that is designed to provide large-scale, high-fidelity three-dimensional (3D) images of the sample.

HeliScan is a critical component of a multi-scale, multi-modal workflow, which begins with a MicroCT scan using HeliScan and progresses through higher-resolution imaging with, for example, a Helios plasma-focused ion beam (PFIB) DualBeam, to atomic-scale analysis in a transmission electron microscope (TEM), such as a Titan system. When combined, these technologies provide a better understanding of a material’s composition.

“Unlike a conventional circular scan, the helical scan is designed to enable fast, artifact-free imaging, even on historically challenging high-aspect ratio samples,” said Trisha Rice, Vice President and General Manager, Materials Science Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Ultimately, this technology is designed to provide high-quality results, giving materials scientists insight into the internal structure of large, dense samples without the need for stitching, which can degrade the quality of the image and results.”

At the University of Manchester’s School of Materials, Regius Professor of Materials Philip Withers is applying advanced techniques to follow the behaviour of material in real time and in 3D, often as they operate under demanding conditions. “We have been very pleased with the HeliScan’s helical scanning capability in delivering both superb image quality and the ability to image high-aspect samples, such as fibre reinforced and tensile test samples in a single sweep,” said Withers.

HeliScan is suited for imaging a variety of types and sizes of samples, such as polymers (including those that are fibre reinforced), carbon, metals, manufactured parts (such as batteries) and even life science samples, such as bone, tissue, plants, and insects (both stained and non-stained).

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