Home Facility Spotlight Facility Spotlight |X-ray nanotomography now available @ SOLEIL

Facility Spotlight |X-ray nanotomography now available @ SOLEIL

15th July 2020

The recently beamline ANATOMIX (Advanced Nanotomography and Imaging with Coherent X-Rays) at SOLEIL is dedicated to three-dimensional imaging with hard X-rays at microscopic length scales. It is one of two “long” beamlines at SOLEIL, which allows its users to benefit from a very coherent X-ray beam and thus obtain images of exceptionally good contrast and resolution.

The nanotomography station, or transmission X-ray microscope (TXM), on ANATOMIX

The new nanotomography end station on ANATOMIX works in a photon energy range from 5 to 20 keV. Based on the concept of a full-field transmission X-ray microscope (TXM), it yields a spatial resolution in 3D on the order of 100 nm and below. In complement to X-ray microtomography, which gives access to length scales down to around 500 nm, users at ANATOMIX can now explore complex biological structures or materials systems in three dimensions with a resolution down to 20 nm (pixel size).

The Arabidopsis thaliana seeds studied by the INRA team have a diameter around 0.3 mm and have been measured without cutting the specimen. The data acquisition time for a full tomographic volume was 2.5 minutes. Figure b shows virtual cuts extracted from 3D volume images obtained with tomography at different length scales up to the entire grain.

Tomography images (virtual slices) of Arabidopsis thaliana, Columbia ecotype (col-0), obtained on ANATOMIX in microtomography (left: full grain, center: detail) and TXM nanotomography (right). Note the organelles visible in the nanotomography image (inset on far right)

Within four days of the experiment, more than 200 nanotomography, as well as high-resolution microtomography volume scans, have been acquired by the user team. For ANATOMIX, it was also the first time that both techniques have been combined in a single experiment.

This first team of external users will soon be followed by several more. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for the next call for proposals, contact the beamline scientists!

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