Professor Robert Cernik and colleagues from The School of Materials have built a prototype colour 3D X-ray system that allows material at each point of an image to be clearly identified.
The innovative work is reported in the latest issue of The Journal of the Royal Society Interface and is published online.
The technique developed by the Manchester scientists is known as tomographic energy dispersive diffraction imaging or TEDDI.
It harnesses all the wavelengths present in an x-ray beam to create probing 3D pictures.
The technique improves on existing methods by allowing detailed images to be created with one very simple scanning motion.
The method makes use of advanced detector and collimator engineering pioneered at Daresbury Laboratory, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and The University of Cambridge.
Scientists believe this advanced engineering will reduce the time taken to create a sample scan from hours to just a few minutes.
This shorter period would eliminate the problem of radiation damage, allowing biopsy samples to be studied and normal tissue types to be distinguished from abnormal.
Professor Cernik said: “We have demonstrated a new prototype X-ray imaging system that has exciting possibilities across a wide range of disciplines including medicine, security scanning and aerospace engineering.
“Current imaging systems such as spiral CAT scanners do not use all the information contained in the X-ray beam. We use all the wavelengths present to give a colour X-ray image. This extra information can be used to fingerprint the material present at each point in a 3D image.
“The TEDDI method is highly applicable to biomaterials, with the possibility of specific tissue identification in humans or identifying explosives, cocaine or heroin in freight. It could also be used in aerospace engineering, to establish whether the alloys in a weld have too much strain.”
To develop the technology Prof Cernik and his team have had to overcome two major technological challenges.
The first was to produce pixellated spectroscopy grade energy sensitive detectors. This was carried out in collaboration with Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxford and Daresbury Laboratory, Cheshire.
The second challenge was to build a device known as a 2D collimator, which filters and directs streams of scattered X-rays. The collimator device needed to have a high aspect ratio of 6000:1, meaning that it its width to its length is more than that of the channel tunnel.
This device was built using a laser drilling method in collaboration with The University of Cambridge.
Professor Cernik added: “There is a great deal of interest within engineering communities in the non-destructive determination of residual stresses in manufactured components, especially in critical areas such as aircraft wings and engine casings.
“The TEDDI system can be used for strain scanning whole fabricated components in the automotive or aerospace industries, although we are currently limited to light alloys.”
Using detectors made from silicon, the Manchester team has been restricted to looking at thin samples or light atom structures.
But they are developing new, high purity, high atomic weight, semiconductor detector materials that will remove this difficulty and drastically speed up scanning times.
A University of Manchester-led project called HEXITEC (http://www.hexitec.co.uk ), which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has just started to make new material.
Jon Keighren | alfa
APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness
25.05.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences
25.05.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation