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Posted: Mar 29, 2011
Xradia Unveils New 3D X-Ray Microscope With Industry's Largest Working Distance at Highest Resolution
(Nanowerk News) Continuing to extend the reach of microcomputed tomography (CT) with breakthrough 3D X-ray imaging solutions, Xradia announces the VersaXRM-500, a new system advancing industry and science with a versatile combination of world-leading resolution and contrast, sample flexibility and the large working distance required to address emerging research challenges. In establishing new industry benchmarks, the VersaXRM-500 addresses crucial gaps in important market segments such as semiconductor, materials science, geomaterials and life sciences.
"Historically, researchers have had to choose non-destructive imaging at insufficient resolution or destructive imaging at high resolution," says Rod Browning, CEO at Xradia, Inc. "By overcoming these limitations, we are equipping researchers with the ability to surpass the boundaries of traditional microCT. The VersaXRM provides increased insight, greater confidence in research findings, and in many cases, a significantly faster time to result."
Increased Versatility and Resolution-at-a-Distance Extend Reach of microCT Imaging
The VersaXRM family builds on the superior resolution, contrast and versatility inherent in Xradia platforms, including true submicron spatial resolution -- a better indicator of imaging quality than merely spot, pixel or voxel size, or detail detectability -- even at millimeters or inches from the source. At the same time, it supports high resolution at large working distances suitable for in situ study using environmental chambers or load cells, and 4D (over time) or under varying environmental conditions.
The system also features flexibility for correlative microscopy with multi-length scale imaging using the VersaXRM in conjunction with the UltraXRM or other microscopy techniques. The combination of better working distance and imaging flexibility extends the value of microCT, and throughput improvements offer a breakthrough for the semiconductor and oil and gas industries.
Keeping pace with the demands of the semiconductor industry
"To move beyond traditional scaling of transistors for miniaturization, focus has shifted to novel package formats. The package assembly roadmap calls for an increasing number of stacked dice and interfaces, substantial developments in 3D interconnections, new material composition, and increasing component density while reducing critical dimensions," says Mario Pacheco, Staff R&D Engineer at Intel. "These trends and developments translate into challenges for defect isolation and characterization that are outpacing traditional failure analysis techniques. Xradia's developments in throughput and resolution address crucial gaps in failure analysis with a faster, non-destructive technique enabling high resolution characterization of intact packages."
The VersaXRM-500 offers the only non-destructive submicron resolution tomographic capability, able to visualize buried features without de-packaging, cutting, or otherwise destroying the device, a process that can potentially introduce physical artifacts. This can also prevent the loss of critical information about the root cause of the failure as a result of destructive imaging methods.
Researchers have lacked an effective means of visualizing hairline cracks, quantifying pores, and characterizing defects and inclusions in the laboratory. The VersaXRM-500 is the first solution to offer high resolution imaging across a full range of sample sizes as large as 50 mm -- far exceeding the size limitations imposed by traditional micro- and nano-CT.
"In order to achieve a better assessment of the structural integrity of materials and components, it is important to understand the microstructure of a crack, for instance, and any associated damage accumulation in three dimensions at high resolution. Further, non-destructive sub-micron imaging makes it possible to track damage events as they proceed. The VersaXRM-500 has been designed to uniquely provide the high resolution at large working distances necessary to enable 3D investigations in a variety of in situ applications," according to Philip J. Withers, Professor of Materials Science at the University of Manchester's esteemed Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility.
Other Fast-moving Research Advanced
Along with the highly competitive semiconductor industry and materials science research, Xradia continues to raise the bar for high resolution and contrast 3D imaging in other challenging arenas:
Life Sciences: The versatility inherent on the platform, including industry-leading phase and absorption contrast, advances studies of soft and hard tissue, both stained and unstained, from microstructure to nanostructure.
Geomaterials: the multi-length scale imaging capability of the VersaXRM-500 is an ideal non-destructive solution, enabling "virtual core analysis." Benefits of this approach include a faster time to results (days or weeks vs. months or years) and improved quantification of detailed structure and pore connectivity across a wide range of magnifications and sample volumes.
"For a large class of materials science and semiconductor investigations, researchers have known for years that progressive studies will provide superior data. These studies are ones where the exact same sample is measured at multiple stages and after different treatments, allowing direct correlation of the sample microstructure and geometry to the evolution of defects and features," says Kevin Fahey, Ph.D., vice president of Marketing at Xradia. "This is 'the new materials science,' where 3D and submicron imaging can finally be carried out in real samples without requiring destruction, and where samples can be investigated over their lifetime or after external stressors are applied."
From synchrotron to laboratory
VersaXRM builds on Xradia's heritage as a premier supplier of optical technology to synchrotron facilities worldwide. Both the VersaXRM family at submicron resolution and the UltraXRM at true sub-50 nm resolution are a new caliber of 3D X-ray microscopes based on proprietary X-ray optic and detector technology to deliver commercial products with 3D resolution previously found only in the world's leading research sites.
Xradia designs and manufactures microscopes for industrial and academic research applications. Xradia's solutions offer impressive high contrast and high resolution imaging capabilities for a large range of sample sizes and shapes. Xradia's two product families, the UltraXRM and VersaXRM, together offer a multi-length scale solution delivering full volume 3D imaging with resolution down to 50 nm. Additional information can be found at www.xradia.com.