First 3D tomography images from BEATS

24 May 2023

During the first tests with photon beam, the BEATS team have generated tomographic images of the test sample in the form of 3D phase-contrast-based reconstructions.

“We were euphoric observing the first 3D images of BEATS only a few minutes after starting our tests,” said Gianluca Iori, BEATS Beamline Scientist. “It was the realization of four years of hard work, which made everyone at SESAME extremely proud.”

The scientists used a vial of glass spheres of 300 µm in diameter as a test sample. The scan, which lasted just 12 seconds, involved taking over 1000 radiographic images of 12 ms exposure time with filtered white beam of the rotating sample.

The vial of glass beads used for the first experiment on the tomography beamline. Credit: SESAME/G. Iori

The beamline uses an ORYX FLIR camera combined with a Hasselblad lens of 1x magnification, which leads to a voxel size of (4.5 µm)³. The data collected was reconstructed by the high-performance computing facility specifically designed for the beamline and installed at SESAME in 2022.

The beamline setup during the experiment on BEATS.

The team then conducted a second experiment to extend towards samples of higher X-ray absorption. This time a terracotta specimen was investigated using the same detection and data evaluation setup. During the 20 minutes of the experiment, 1800 radiographic images of the rotating sample were taken, resulting in the successful generation of a 3D reconstruction.

Virtual section through a 20 mm diameter terracotta specimen. X-ray phase-contrast reconstruction.

The first beam was delivered to the BEATS Experimental Hutch in March 2023 (find out more in this article). Radiation safety tests of the whole BEATS hutch infrastructure were subsequently carried out with success. In the last few weeks, the staff at SESAME have proceeded with the installation of the experimental equipment (find out the details in Deliverable 4.1) and the computing chain necessary for data collection and evaluation.

The team at SESAME after generating the first 3D tomographic images on BEATS. Credit: SESAME

The next and final steps of the BEATS project will comprise the installation of the multilayer crystals of the monochromator and the continuation of the overall commissioning of the beamline.

The beamline is scheduled to open to users in September 2023.