Imaging in 3D under pressure: a decade of high-pressure X-ray microtomography development at GSECARS

The high-pressure X-ray microtomography (HPXMT) apparatus has been operating at the GeoSoilEnviroCARS (GSECARS) bending magnet beamline at the Advanced Photon Source since 2005. By combining the powerful synchrotron X-ray source and fast switching between white (for X-ray diffraction) and monochromatic (for absorption imaging) modes, this technique provides the high-pressure community with a unique opportunity to image the three-dimensional volume, texture, and microstructure of materials under high pressure and temperature. The ability to shear the sample with unlimited strain by twisting the two opposed anvils in the apparatus allows shear deformation studies under extreme pressure and temperature to be performed. HPXMT is a powerful tool for studying the physical properties of both crystalline and non-crystalline materials under high pressure and high temperature. Over the past 10 years, continuous effort has been put into technical development, modifications to improve the overall performance, and additional probing techniques to meet users’ needs.


Examples of volume rendering at high pressure and temperature by tomography reconstruction. A vitreous Mg2SiO4 sphere (initial diameter = 0.803 mm) at a 1 atm and b 1 GPa. Images modified after Lesher et al. (2009). c A series of images of a Ga cylinder at various pressure and temperature conditions. Images modified after Li et al. (2014). Sessile drop of Fe60S40 melt at 2 GPa and d 1207 and e 1293 K. Note the semi-triangular shape of the drop at 1207 K, indicating that the sample has not reached equilibrium with the surrounding sodium disilicate liquid. Therefore, cross-sectional measurements on this drop cannot give accurate interfacial energy. Images modified after Terasaki et al. (2008)

Yu, T., Y. Wang, M.L. Rivers, "Imaging in 3D under pressure: a decade of high-pressure X-ray microtomography development at GSECARS", Progress in Earth and Planetary Science 3 (1), 1-13 (2016) Click