CT Scanners

The UGCT currently has 6 operational CT scanners: CoreTOM, EMCT, Hector, Medusa, Nanowood and Herakles (in collaboration with XMI).


EMCTThe Environmental Micro-CT or EMCT system is a rather unique, gantry-based high-resolution setup developed for fast CT scanning and in-situ monitoring. The design of a horizontal gantry allows for the installation of a large number of add-on modules such as flow cells, pressure stages, temperature stages, ... in a convenient vertical position without a limitation on tubes and wires. Furthermore, the components are chosen to enable fast and continuous CT scanning at up to 5 full rotations per minute. Illustrative examples of fast, in-situ images are explained in Bultreys et al. (alternative download).

More details about this system can also be found in Dierick et al., Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. B 324, 35-40 (2014).


HectorThe High-Energy CT system Optimized for Research or HECTOR is the workhorse of our systems. It is equipped with a 240 kV X-ray tube from X-RAY WorX, and has recently been updated by the installation of a Varex XRD 4343 flat-panel detector with CsI scintillator and a rotation stage able to carry samples up to 100 kg. Mounted on a total of 5 motorized linear stages, and with a source-to-detector distance of up to 2 m, this system covers a very wide range of samples with a best achievable spatial resolution of approximately 3 micron and an image resolution of 2880×2880 pixels. Two additional piezo stages allow for an exact positioning of the sample on the rotation axis.

More details on the original system can be found in the dedicated paper by Masschaele et al; pdf version available for download.


CoreTOM scanner at UGCTThe TESCAN CoreTOM is our general purpose system optimized for high quality imaging of a wide range of samples. The scanner is equipped with a 180 kV X-ray tube and a large 2856×2856 pixels flat panel detector allowing for samples to be imaged at a spatial resolution down to 3 micron.

A great range of different sample sizes can be mounted, with up to 1 meter scannable height and a maximum sample weight of 45 kg. 9 motorized axis allow for multi-scale imaging using a global coordinate system integrated in both the acquisition and reconstruction software. Samples can be scanned using (stacked) circular and helical scan trajectories. Moreover, time lapse and continuous imaging of dynamic processes (down to 5 seconds per 360° rotation) is possible with this system.

The scanner is equipped with a special kit for performing in situ experiments, allowing for the installation and control of peripheral in situ equipment. Connections include a serial connection in the slip-ring, and an interface panel with AC/DC power, IO ports and RJ45 patch points.

Herakles (UGCT - XMI)

HeraclesThe combined micro-CT - micro-XRF system Herakles combines three scanning stages for extensive sample characterization. One high-resolution CT stage is complemented with two micro-XRF stages, where the three stages are linked by an innovative air-beared positioning system which offers a sub-micron accuracy over the complete setup, necessary for the image correlation. This setup is currently in its final stage of construction and can be used for state-of-the-art research soon.

This system was developed and constructed in collaboration with the X-ray Microspectroscopy and Imaging group of Prof. L. Vincze (XMI) with the financial support of the Hercules Foundation (project AUGE/11/024. 2011).

More details can be found in the dedicated paper by Laforce et al.


MedusaThe very high resolution scanner Medusa is the re-designed version of the first UGCT sub-micron CT system, of which a description can be found in Masschaele et al. (2007). Similar to this system and Nanowood, it combines a Photonic Science VHR detector with a large-area Varian flat-panel detector to allow for both low-density objects such as biological tissue, and high-density samples such as geomaterials. Both detectors are mounted on motorized linear stages for easy and fast switching and high accuracy. On this stage, additional space is available for experimental detectors and other tests. The setup also allows for a very long propagation distance of 1.4m, which can be exploited for phase-contrast experiments. The FeinFocus transmission tube allows for a resolution of approximately 0.9 µm and for X-ray targets of different material and thickness.


NanoWoodThe extremely versatile multi-resolution X-ray tomography scanner is located at the Laboratory for Wood technology, hence its name. It is equipped with two separate X-ray tubes and two different X-ray detectors to allow for optimal scanning conditions for a very wide range of samples. The open-type Hamamatsu transmission tube is used for very high resolution CT scans, where a resolution of approximately 0.4 micron can be achieved, whereas the closed-type Hamamatsu directional tube head is used for larger samples. On the detector side, an 11 megapixel Photonic Science VHR CCD camera with a pixel size of approximately 7² µm² is complemented with a large-area Varian flat-panel detector. Using 7 motorized linear stages, X-ray tube and detector can be switched with a click of a button, and the scanning geometry can be chosen to optimize the detected X-ray flux or optimize the X-ray propagation distance for phase contrast imaging.

More details about this system can be found in Dierick et al., Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. B 324, 35-40 (2014).


More information about using our facility can be found at our user page.