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3D X-ray imaging facility

More Information

About the 3D X-ray imaging facility

Our advanced three-dimensional imaging and computed tomography (CT) capabilities are based at the µ-VIS X-ray imaging centre. We host a range of different sized µ-VIS (mu-VIS) scanners which work by taking thousands of X-ray views to build up a 3D image of an object. 

We also offer 3D X-ray histology (XRH) with our partners at the Biomedical Imaging Unit.

Our services

We provide a holistic approach to advanced 3D-imaging, through our scanning equipment, data analysis capabilities and experienced research staff to support every stage of a project. We welcome collaborations and offer a range of services to external academic and industrial institutions. Typical applications include:

  • production of images
  • image analysis (sample visualisation and measurement)
  • defect detection
  • actual-nominal comparison
  • assembly analysis
  • FE model generation (meshing)
  • extraction of STL models

We also run introductory training sessions and host workshops on specialist topics.

The centre is a founding partner of the National X-ray Computed Tomography facility.

Part of: µ-VIS X-ray Imaging Centre

Technical specification

We have 10 scanners across our 2 sites. They can handle sample sizes with imaged volumes up to 1.5 x 1 x 1m, and spatial resolutions down to approximately 200 nm. We host 6 of the scanners at this location:

  • Diondo d5 - walk-in scanner
  • Custom 450/225 kVp Hutch - for specimens up to 100kg
  • Modified 225 kVp Nikon/Xtek HMX - for specimens less than 300 mm
  • Zeiss 160 kVp Versa 510 - for specimens in contained in-situ rings
  • Gatan XuM/Zeiss Evo MA25 - for specimens 1-2mm and below
  • Nikon/Xtek 160 kVp Benchtop - for training and education

Diondo d5

This is our latest walk-in scanner will band e available to internal and external users from autumn 2022. It is funded by the ESPRC as part of the The National X‑ray Computed Tomography facility.

  • 300 kVp and 450 kVp X-Ray sources 
  • resolutions:  300 kVp source, 450 kVp source
  • 3000 x 3000 FP detector (active area 417 x 417mm) 
  • scanning modes: horizontal and vertical field-of-view expansion and cropping, helical scanning, linear translation laminograpgy 
  • scattering compensation 
  • imaging volume in excess of 1x1x1.5 m
  • 200 kg rating sample stage 
  • temperature controlled  
  • user labyrinth and large 5 x 3.5 x 3.5 m enclosure for large specimens and/or complex in situ testing

Custom 450/225 kVp Hutch

This is best for specimens whose dimensions range from a few millimetres in cross-section up to 1 x 1 x 1.5 m and weigh up to 100 kg.

  • 20 - 225 kVp and 100-450 kVp X-Ray sources
  • resolutions: ~3µm at low kV, 50µm at 450kV 
  • FP and CLDA detectors 
  • panel shift system 
  • up to 1x1x1.5 m imaging volume 
  • 100 kg rating 
  • temperature controlled 
  • large user labyrinth

Modified 225 kVp Nikon/Xtek HMX

This is perfect for small specimens of less than 300 mm in height.

  • three configurations
  • transmission (~1µm spot limit, low flux)
  • standard reflection (~3µm spot, 'normal' flux)
  • rotating target (~10µm spot limit, x3-5 flux)
  • 2 x 2k flat panel detector
  • samples to ~300mm and 50kg
  • robotic sample exchange (~150mm height limit)

Zeiss 160 kVp Versa 510

This allows for imaging of large or small specimens in contained in-situ rings which is useful for biomedical imaging, carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) and polymer imaging.

  • 30 -160 kVp
  • 2048 x 2048 pixel detector
  • multiple magnification objectives up to 40x
  • 0.7 µm true spatial resolution
  • phase-contrast imaging modes applications.

Gatan XuM/Zeiss Evo MA25

This is used in the life sciences for the analysis and reconstruction of biological specimens.

  • optimised for 4-12kV operation
  • selection of targets (bulk and thin), ~200nm resolution capabilities
  • phase enhanced contrast
  • 1340x1300 camera
  • samples 1-2mm and below

Nikon/Xtek 160 kVp Benchtop

This scanner is available for training and workshops.

  • 30 -160 kVp
  • reflection source, ~3µm spot size limit
  • 1248x1248 flat panel detector
  • samples to ~90mm diameter, 5kg

Scanners at our partner site

Our 4 specialist histology scanners are hosted at the hospital:

  • Nikon XTH225ST XRH 3D X-ray histology scanner
  • Nikon Med-X (alpha)
  • MILabs U-CT 3D/4D optical imaging / microCT system
  • SkyScan 1176 in-vivo CT scanner

Contact us

Contact us

For more information or to book one of our 3D X-ray scanners, get in touch.
μ-VIS X-Ray Imaging Centre, Eustice building (B5), Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
We’re open Monday to Friday 10:00 to 16:00 UK time