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Dierick, Manuel Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
- Reconstruction methods
- Typical scanner implementations
- Phase contrast
- New detector technologies
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Computer tomography (CT) is a nondestructive imaging technique to reconstruct an object's internal structure, based on a series of projection images recorded from different directions by using some type of penetrating radiation, usually x-rays. Originally developed by Godfrey Hounsfield in 1971, medical CAT (computer-aided tomography) scanners quickly became a standard diagnostic tool, and their use in other fields soon became widespread. The development of microfocus x-ray sources and 2D digital detectors led to a new family of CT scanners, the micro-CT scanners. In its most basic implementation, a micro-CT scanner consists of a fixed source and detector setup in between which a sample can rotate, in contrast to medical scanners where source and detector rotate around the patient (Fig. 1). Micro-CT has undergone very intensive development over the last few decades, and is quickly becoming a standard microscopy technique in many areas of science and industry. In recent years, the spatial resolution of micro-CT systems has dropped below 1 μm (spurring the term nano-CT). Micro-CT is also performed at synchrotrons, which offer more specialized possibilities, but this work will not be covered in this article.
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