The Virtual Institute develops new methods and instruments allowing for high resolution imaging the inner of materials. Key aspects are the X-ray microscopy and phase contrast imaging methods for imaging materials with very low absorption contrast (e.g. breast tissue in tumour recognition). Phase contrast imaging shows differences in the speed of light in materials.

Resulting research goals are:

  • Development and setup of new X-ray imaging systems at synchrotron sources and at X-ray laboratory sources and their application in materials science
  • Development of miscellaneous X-ray lenses for illumination and imaging of samples in X-ray microscopes
  • Setup of X-ray microscopes at synchrotron sources to reach resolutions better 100 nm for photon energies above 10 keV
  • Development of high quality large area X-ray gratings for phase contrast imaging
  • Establishing differential phase contrast and directional dark field imaging methods at synchrotron sources as well as at X-ray laboratory sources
  • High quality investigation of compound materials, fibre reinforced polymers and lightweight construction materials to find out their composition in the micrometre and sub-micrometre range and their physical and mechanical properties
  • Precise examination of dynamic processes like temperature changes or water absorption in materials
  • Exemplary examination of morphology and changes in the properties of rechargeable batteries in the charging and discharging process

Based on these material analytical examinations with the newly established methods we expect tremendous changes and improvements in materials development. For advanced training of students at least two summer schools will be organized, where internal scientists and international experts in X-ray imaging give lectures.

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