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A New Way To See Inside


Fully Flexible 2D Radiography & 3D Micro-tomography X-ray Phase Contrast Imaging Systems

X-Ray Phase Contrast Imaging Phase plays an important part in improving contrast for x-ray images with many types of samples. PCX from XRT is specifically designed to capture and retrieve both phase and absorption contrast providing high contrast imaging in the broadest range of applications.

Since the discovery of a “new kind of ray” in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, x-rays have been used in a diverse range of imaging and analytical techniques. Every known property of these new rays has been exploited in a vast range of human endeavour. Now, PCX from XRT gives scientists, engineers and technologists a powerful new tool allowing them to visualise the internal structures of a wide range of materials, devices, components, micro-machines and micro-structures.

PCX Advantages Fully flexible 2D radiography. 3D micro-tomography with the ability to create realistic 3D models and take virtual sections through the sample without destroying it. Flexible projection geometry allowing the user full control over magnification, field of view and phase signatures.

PCX is an x-ray imaging system of unique and innovative design. The projection geometry used in the PCX produces images containing both absorption and phase contrast. Together these allow faint objects and small features, not otherwise visible, to be imaged in superb detail.

Uniquely optimised for phase and absorption contrast providing high quality imaging of even the most difficult low contrast samples.

PCX provides a detailed and precise insight into the internal in-situ arrangement of components; the thickness, integrity, registration of layered structures, and can reveal internal cracks, voids and delamination without the need to cross section or otherwise de-process the sample.

Fully automated acquisition.

High resolution and high contrast.

The design of the PCX is based on XRT’s extensive patent portfolio in the acquisition and interpretation of X-ray phase contrast.

Images left to right 2D image of an intact semiconductor chip scale package (CSP) showing voiding at contacts, 3D tomographic reconstruction of the same sample, Tomographic reconstruction of Velcro®

APPLICATION AREAS Materials Sciences Plastics, composites, metal and polymer foams, ceramics, alloys, paper, packaging Life Sciences Bone micro-architecture, surgical implants, pharmaceuticals, seeds, insects Micro-Electronics Semiconductor devices, MEMS, IC packaging Earth Sciences Diamonds and other gemstones, pearls, geo-polymers, porosity in sandstone Food Technology Dairy foams, texture, packaging

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What is Phase Contrast? X-ray phase contrast arises from the refraction or bending of x-rays as they interact with the sample. This not only provides contrast in low density materials but also an edge enhancement highlighting cracks, voids and boundaries which is not possible using conventional absorption based x-ray imaging.

Images left to right Comparison between absorption contrast and a phase contrast optimised. Phase contrast clearly shows internal voiding and fibres quite indistinct in the conventional absorption image.

With traditional x-ray systems, imaging is generally by absorption contrast only. Unfortunately, this severely limits imaging of very small or weakly absorbing features and makes extraction of subtle textural information from the image extremely difficult.

XRT’s PCX Changes All That

The use of a laterally coherent x-ray source, phase optimised projection geometry and a high resolution large area detector produces images containing both absorption and phase contrast information.

Phase contrast of x-rays is strongest at edges, voids and boundaries in the sample. Visualisation of edges is therefore improved, heightening the spatial resolution and contrast of the image. This in turn increases the sensitivity and specificity of the image data – very useful benefits in both industrial and biological imaging applications. PCX thus combines excellent spacial resolution with innovative imaging techniques into a tool capable of extracting contrast from samples previously thought unsuitable for x-ray imaging.

Detail below Human hair inside a section of surgical vascular graft constructed of knitted polyester and bovine collagen.

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XRT’s PCX  Series The world’s first commercially available in-line x-ray phase contrast imaging system.

PCX is a fully shielded x-ray cabinet system optimised for 2D and optional 3D tomographic in-line x-ray contrast imaging. The PCX provides a unique x-ray imaging capability, capturing and extracting both phase and absorption contrast for maximum image detail, contrast and resolution.

The fully flexible geometry with motorised sample manipulator and detector positioning allow easy optimisation of imaging parameters–magnification, field of view and phase signature. Design of the system centres around XRT Limited’s extensive patent portfolio covering the capture and interpretation of x-ray phase contrast information.


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System Features Power, flexibility, control.

•Integrated hardware and software control. •Ultra-stable x-ray source optimised for resolution between 20 and 70 kVp. Provides excellent phase and absorption contrast imaging performance. •Vibration damped common rail sub-frame for long-term positional stability ensures great 2D imaging and accurate tomographic reconstructions. •Very high resolution, indirect detection, cooled CCD camera. •Range of linear sample manipulators for flexible sample handling in 2D imaging and ultra-precision sample rotation stage for 3D (optional) tomography. •Radiation-proof enclosure with redundant interlocks for complete operator safety. •Software control of all operational settings for speedy results.

X-TRACT software with powerful phase retrieval algorithms (patented worldwide).

•Sophisticated imaging software for superior 2D and 3D (optional) image acquisition and image processing. •Flexible projection geometry for easy optimisation of phase and absorption contrast for excellent results on a wide range of samples. •X-TRACT software with powerful (world-wide patents) phase retrieval algorithms for accurate projected density measurements. •FDK back-projection tomography reconstruction with extensive correction and filter capabilities for simple but powerful 3D reconstruction. •Advanced PC workstation for high-speed 3D reconstructions and visualisation (optional). •Fully assembled, simple to install, requiring only 110V or 220/240V power. Just plug in and switch on! Note: The PCX Bare-Frame (open chassis) series for use in enclosed x-ray rooms is also available. Please enquire for further information. All specifications subject to change without notice.

Above 3D reconstruction and rendering of a malted confectionary ball. Different phases and their distribution within the product can be seen by virtual slicing through the reconstruction model.

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See The Difference Superior imaging performance of the PCX brings the advantages of phase contrast to a wide range of samples.

Where is x-ray phase contrast imaging useful? Phase contrast provides high contrast imaging for even the most demanding of samples including low density composites, polymers and biological samples. Features are often visible without the addition of artificial contrast agents.

3D MICRO-TOMOGRAPHY The PCX offers full 3D CT volume reconstruction and visualisation. In much the same way as a medical CT scanner works, the arrangement of internal features and components can then be analysed by “virtual slicing” without having to physically dissect the sample.

This leads to applications as diverse as looking for microscopic defects in micro-manufactured components, e.g., semiconductor devices and hidden cracks in aerospace composites to detailed imaging of fine trabecular bone architecture and soft tissue structure.

Above High resolution, high contrast 2D radiographic image of excised mouse tibia.


Volume rendering and virtual slicing through excised mouse vertebrae. The three orthogonal sections show axial, coronal and sagittal views with the same location identified in all 3 views. Fine trabecular bone architecture and surrounding soft tissue are clearly visible.

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Gallery Materials science

Above left to right 2D radiographic image of impact crater and residue in aluminium, 3D tomographic reconstruction of plastic cable tie, 3D solid model of thermoplastic foam.

Above left to right 2D radiograph image showing fibre delamination, 2D image showing cracking in a multi-layered fuel pellet, 3D solid model of polystyrene foam used in the manufacture of surfboards. Note the voiding between foam cells.

Biomaterials, food & life sciences

Above left to right Reconstructed CT slice through a breakfast cereal bar, 3D reconstructed volume of honeycomb confectionary product, 3D view of the internal structure of an edible dairy foam (chocolate mousse).

Above left to right 2D radiographic image of a dried chilli seed pod, 2D image of a small wildflower, 3D reconstruction and surface rendering of an insect. 7 XRT LIMITED XRT– The Sharper Edge In Imaging

Footprint and Utilities

Our Commitment To You XRT is committed to providing the most innovative high performance x-ray tools possible. Our patented technology is unique and enables us to provide performance and facilities not available anywhere else. XRT Limited Suite A3.0, Port IT Business Park, 63 Turner Street, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia

Tel: +61 3 9249 2900 Fax: +61 3 9646 3469 Email: Web: PCXSeries/01/08 © XRT Limited 2008 The XRT and PCX logos are both registered trademarks of XRT Limited

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