Picture of the Week
The kind of matter and energy we can see and touch – whether it is in the form of atoms and molecules, or heat and light, only forms a tiny proportion of the content of the Universe, only about 5%. Over a quarter is dark matter, which is totally invisible but whose gravitational attraction can be detected; while over two thirds is dark energy, a force that pushes the Universe to expand ever faster.
New X-ray vision can reveal internal structure of objects
4 October 2013
A team of scientists, including UCL Chemistry's Andrew Beale, has developed a new kind of X-ray vision that is able to peer inside an object and map the three-dimensional distribution of its nano-properties in real time.
The researchers, based at a range of institutions in the UK, US and mainland Europe, say the novel imaging technique could have a wide
range of applications across many disciplines, such as materials
science, geology, environmental science and medical research.
"This development represents the latest installment in an area I have been involved in since 2007 where we have been developing non-invasive chemical imaging methods using X-rays to look at industrial catalysts," Beale explains.
"The work in this publication uses, as a second demonstration of the power of the technique, an industrial catalyst, containing material
that is normally very difficult to chemically image since it is too small to
see just a few nanometres in size."
"The technique overcomes this problem, bridging a
gap between chemical properties at the nanoscale with their
distribution at the micronscale - such properties being key to understanding
the physical properties of materials."
The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, explains how the new imaging technique uses scattered X-rays to form a three-dimensional reconstruction of the image.
More information on the study is available in press releases from the University of Manchester and the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
- The research appears in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, entitled "Pair Distribution Function-Computed Tomography"
UCL Chemistry / Research Complex at Harwell
UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
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