Beauty of science: X-ray antics


This incredibly detailed image of an ant obtained at the ESRF’s ID19 beamline is based on a technique called X-ray grating interferometry, which provides high-sensitivity differential phase and dark-field (small angle X-ray scattering) signals. It therefore bears tremendous potential for imaging tiny density differences and structures at the nanoscale that produce low absorption contrast.

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In the above false-colour image (obtained with an X-ray photon energy of 23 keV and with gratings placed 480 mm apart), green and red correspond to scatter signals in the x and y directions, respectively. 2D X-ray grating interferometry was developed by former ESRF PhD student Irene Zanette (now at the University of Munich) and Timm Weitkamp of the ESRF and SOLEIL, along with colleagues at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. (2010 Phys. Rev. Lett. 105 248102).


This article originally appeared in ESRFnews, March 2012. 

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