AIF now home to compact microCT system

The Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) is now home to a Bruker SkyScan 1174 microCT system. This compact microCT can be used to image a variety of samples in three-dimensions with down to 10 micron spatial resolution. A suite of software tools is  included with the system for complex image reconstruction, processing, and analysis. Several example images can be found here, and the specs are listed below. The instrument will be available for both research and outreach activities by early October. For more information on training and access, please contact Maude Cuchiara.

X-ray source 20-50kV, 40W maximum power, filter holder for energy selection
X-ray detector 1.3Mp CCD coupled to scintillator by lens with 1:6 zoom range
Spatial Resolution 6…30 µm pixel size, approximately 10 µm low-contract resolution
Object Size 5 – 30mm in diameter, 50mm in length (50mm vertical travel)
Radiation safety <1 µSv/h at 10cm from the instrument surface


Rigaku SmartLab X-ray Diffractometer coming soon to CHANL

CHANL is thrilled to offer powder and thin film x-ray diffraction with a new Rigaku SmartLab X-ray diffractometer (XRD). This system is capable of grazing angle measurements for measuring diffraction from thin films and possesses an in-plane diffraction arm for measuring crystalline planes perpendicular to the sample surface. Samples with periodicity on length scales up to 100 nm can be characterized with the SAXS unit, and micro area measurements with spot sizes as small as 100 μm are also possible.  Rocking curves, pole figures, and reflectivity measurements are all available with this system, which is also equipped with a HyPix-3000 2D detector. A number of sample stages allowing for sample heating and cooling (-100ºC to 1,000ºC) and environmental control (inert atmosphere, vacuum, reactive gas) are available for interesting in situ measurements. The SmartLab Guidance software makes these measurements easy to implement as it guides users to install the correct optical components, and walks them through the appropriate alignments before measurements begin. Powerful analysis software includes access to the ICDD PDF2 database, allows for Rietveld whole pattern fitting, and 2D pattern analysis.

If you would like additional information about this tool, please email Carrie Donley (

Looking inside 18th Century Ivory Mannequins

Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) is working with conservationists at Rubenstein Library to carefully image anatomical models that have been housed behind glass since the 1950s. Once the original has been scanned, researchers use a 3D printer to create a plastic replica. The model can be handled to prevent damage to the original. To learn more, visit the recent news feature or watch the video describing the process.