Given that synchrotron storage rings are known for being very bright sources of x-rays. It may come as a surprise that x-ray imaging is not the most popular characterisation method used at these laboratories. Diffraction and spectroscopy techniques dominate. The reason is that non-synchrotron x-ray sources are actually very good at producing radiation for standard radiographic imaging and CT. Commercial x-ray imaging systems based in hospitals are exemplars. Such sources are more portable, and less expensive. However using a synchrotron as a source still provides unique and valuable capabilities. The high brilliance (intensity in low divergence beams) and the associated coherence are hard to achieve in any other source.
Australia is fortunate to have one of the best synchrotron imaging facilities in the world. The Imaging and Medical Beam Line (IMBL) was designed to exploit those synchrotron advantages for both materials and biomedical imaging. The primary imaging experiment enclosure is 140 metres from the source. The beamed nature of the synchrotron emission means that even at this distance the illumination intensity is still high (~ 10^10 photons/mm^2/sec). This is monochromatic radiation with a bandwidth of around 0.1%. Currently the useable beam is limited to about 300 mm wide and 30 mm high. An upgrade is underway putting optics in place which will expand the beam to 80 mm in the vertical direction. The experiment radiation enclosure itself is large (6 m by 10 m) which permits sample-detector propagation distances of up to 6 metres and hosts motion control equipment capable of payloads of 150 kg.
Bio available soon