Laser-preparation of geometrically optimised samples for X-ray nano-CT

J.J. Bailey, T.M.M. Heenan, D.P. Finegan, X. Lu, S.R. Daemi, F. Iacoviello, N.R. Backeberg, O.O. Taiwo, D.J.L. Brett, A. Atkinson, P.R. Shearing

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54 Citations (Scopus)
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A robust and versatile sample preparation technique for the fabrication of cylindrical pillars for imaging by X‐ray nano‐computed tomography (nano‐CT) is presented. The procedure employs simple, cost‐effective laser micro‐machining coupled with focused‐ion beam (FIB) milling, when required, to yield mechanically robust samples at the micrometre length‐scale to match the field‐of‐view (FOV) for nano‐CT imaging. A variety of energy and geological materials are exhibited as case studies, demonstrating the procedure can be applied to a variety of materials to provide geometrically optimised samples whose size and shape are tailored to the attenuation coefficients of the constituent phases. The procedure can be implemented for the bespoke preparation of pillars for both lab‐ and synchrotron‐based X‐ray nano‐CT investigations of a wide range of samples
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-396
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number3
Early online date15 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • laser micro-machining
  • lithium-ion batteries
  • sample preparation
  • shale
  • solid oxide fuel cells
  • X-ray tomography


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