SAXS- and WAXS- tensor tomography: A new tool for the analysis of multi-scale materials
Research Project , 2019 – 2022

We aim to create a tool to study ordering in macroscopic samples down to atomic distances. The method is using small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) to gather statistical structure information. The full 3D reciprocal space map in each voxel of a 3D sample is reconstructed with tensor tomography. The key here is to remove the current limitations of the algorithm to include the WAXS signal. From the reciprocal space map orientation of the underlying nanostructure and crystalline planes can be retrieved directly. This allows to probe multi-scale structures with complex orientation patterns, abundant in nature and materials science. The method is a unique tool to relate the structure with macroscopic properties, such as mechanical strength. The 3D reciprocal space contains besides the orientation also size and shape information of the nano-constituents. Here analysis tools will be developed to retrieve this structural information.To demonstrate the full potential of SAXS/WAXS tensor tomography, a biomimetic nanocomposite will be studied as show-case example. Inspired by the structure of bone, self-assembled cylindrical structures take the role of collagen fibrils and are enforced with mineral crystals. A PhD student will be hired on the project. Besides the writing of analysis software, the planed experimental work includes SAXS/WAXS tensor tomography and complementary techniques such as electron microscopy, mechanical testing and birefringence measurements.


Marianne Liebi (contact)

Forskarassistent vid Chalmers, Physics, Condensed Matter Physics


Swedish Research Council (VR)

Funding Chalmers participation during 2019–2022

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