Laboratory X-ray microscopy for high-resolution imaging of environmental colloid structure
2012 (English)In: Chemical Geology, ISSN 0009-2541, E-ISSN 1872-6836, Vol. 329, no SI, 26-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Transmission X-ray microscopy is a uniquely suited technique for studies of environmental colloids since it allows imaging in aqueous media with high spatial resolution, presently down to the 20 nm range. Such nanoscale morphological description of these high-specific-surface-area compounds show promise for improved understanding of soils, sediments or groundwater aquifers. However, present high-quality X-ray microscopes are located at synchrotron radiation facilities resulting in limited applicability and accessibility for colloid scientists. Here we investigate the applicability of a laboratory-scale transmission X-ray microscope for studies of colloids of the environment. The microscope is based on a laser-plasma source in combination with multilayer and zone plate optics. Samples are held at atmospheric pressure in their natural wet state. We show images revealing the nano-scale morphology of the clay nontronite, soils such as chernozem and luvisol, and the mineral hematite, an iron oxide. Comparative studies of dried substances clearly show the need for imaging in the wet state. The image quality approaches that of synchrotron-based microscopes, albeit at longer exposure times. Stereo imaging is investigated as a means for giving 3D information with shorter exposure times than tomography requires. Finally the future development of the laboratory X-ray microscope is discussed, especially with regard to the reduction of exposure times.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 329, no SI, 26-31 p.
X-ray microscopy, Laser plasma, Diffractive optics, Laboratory scale, environmental colloids, soils
Other Physics Topics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26952DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2011.07.012ISI: 000310125000005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84866508020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-26952DiVA: diva2:373137
FunderSwedish Research Council
QC 201211272010-11-302010-11-302012-11-27Bibliographically approved