Materials Science

Materials science is a broad subject, covering everything from polymers to metals. The scope of the discipline is often graphically displayed as the materials tetrahedron with vertices representing processing, structure, properties, and performance, and characterization at its center.

Sigray provides a comprehensive suite of x-ray characterization tools that includes 3D multi-scale x-ray microscopy (PrismaXRM and TriLambda), micro-compositional mapping tools (AttoMap microXRF), and systems to elucidate chemistry and electron structure (QuantumLeap XAS systems). Together, these systems act as a laboratory synchrotron with four major characterization beamlines.

Because x-rays are inherently non-destructive, these tools are complementary and useful as correlative upstream systems to other modalities. They are also ideal for in-situ experiments.

In-operando/In-situ Experiments: Structure and Electronic Structure

X-rays are a powerful way to probe changes occurring within a sample without destroying the sample during sample preparation or imaging. Sigray has optimized each of its products for accommodating in-situ rigs to enable studies such as 3D deformation/cracking under stress and strain (PrismaXRM), chemical changes under heat and gas (QuantumLeap), gas flow in porous rocks (AttoMap), and microstructural evolution of battery electrodes (TriLambda).

Contact us to discuss your in-situ cell needs. Sigray provides both third-party solutions or our own designs that meet your requirements.

In-situ cell for gas flow through porous rock
Chemistry and Electronic Structure

The chemistry and electronic structure (i.e., local symmetry of electrons, bond lengths, and electron density) are often critical to understand for potential catalytic materials, energy materials, and nanoparticles. X-ray absorption spectroscopy through the QuantumLeap XAS provides both qualitative fingerprinting of chemical states and quantitative information on atomic distances and coordination numbers.

Polymers and Low Z Materials

Low atomic number (low Z) materials are often viewed as the most challenging materials for both electron and x-ray based approaches. This is because organic materials charge under an electron beam and are often too poorly attenuating for x-rays to obtain suitable contrast. Sigray has introduced several major innovations in x-ray microscopes to address these challenging materials:

  • 2.7 keV x-ray energy in its TriLambda nanoXRM for 30-100nm 3D resolution in soft materials
  • A patented multi-target quasi-monochromatic x-ray source in ChromaXRM for the highest absorption contrast achievable in the laboratory at submicron 3D resolution
  • Novel tri-contrast imaging in PrismaXRM for access to new contrast mechanisms to show features in soft and biological materials that would otherwise could not be seen using x-rays
Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Process Monitoring

X-rays have become a critical workhorse in additive manufacturing, as they can provide information on intact parts. This includes pinpointing submicron structural defects or fiber orientations with x-ray microscopy (PrismaXRM provides high throughput for such applications) and trace-level impurities with microXRF (AttoMap).