Computed tomography is a form of 3D X-ray. X-rays are generated by focusing electrons produced in a cathode at a target. The target produces X-rays which are then directed to the sample of interest. X-rays travel through the sample to a detector. Denser samples absorb more X-rays, whereas less dense samples absorb fewer X-rays. For optimal imaging, it is necessary that the object partially absorbs X-rays (some X-rays are absorbed while some pass through) as well as differentially absorbs X-rays (if there are no density differences then the object will show as uniformly grey). The unabsorbed X-rays are recorded by a detector to produce a projection image. The sample is then rotated and another projection image is taken. The process is repeated until the object has rotated either 180° or 360° producing a stack of projection images. The projection images are then transformed using computer algorithms into a series of 2D cross-sectional images. The spatial resolution of the resulting 2D images is dependent on the size of the object under investigation, its distance from the X-ray source, as well as the size of the detector panel.
NYIT's SkyScan 1173 is a high-energy desktop scanner that is ideally suited to scan small and dense materials.
System model: Bruker SkyScan 1173
Maximum object size: 140mm in diameter, 200mm in length (180mm scanning length)
X-Ray source: 40–130kV, 8W, minimum focal spot size 5µm
X-ray detector: distortion-free flat-panel 5Mp (2240 x 2240 pixel)
Sample manipulator: precision micropositioning stage, four axis manipulation (x, y, z, rotation)
Radiation: internally shielded, less than 1 microSievert per hour (<1µSv/h)
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