Ptychographic X-ray computed tomography of porous membranes with nanoscale resolution

Radoslaw Gorecki, Carla Cristina Polo, Tiago Araujo Kalile, Eduardo X. S. Miqueles, Yuri R. Tonin, Lakshmeesha Upadhyaya, Florian Meneau, Suzana Pereira Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New visualization methods can be utilized to resolve structures at resolutions that were previously unachievable. 3D images of porous materials with high resolution have been so far obtained using transmission electron tomography or focused ion beam coupled with scanning electron microscopy. For these methods, ultra-vacuum is required, and only a small volume of the sample is visualized. Here, we demonstrate the application of ptychographic X-ray computed tomography for the visualization of soft matter with a resolution of 26 nm over large fields of view. Thanks to the high-penetration depth of the X-ray beam, we visualize the 3D complex porous structure of polyetherimide hollow fibers in a non-destructive manner and obtain quantitative information about pore size distribution and pore network interconnectivity across the whole membrane wall. The non-destructive nature of this method, coupled with its ability to image samples without requiring modification or a high vacuum environment, makes it valuable in the fields of porous- and nano-material sciences enabling imaging under different environmental conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCommunications Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-09-05
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CRG8-4040.2
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and thank for the funding of the project 3D Image of porous polymeric membranes by in situ advanced methods, award number OSR-2019-CRG8-4040.2. The authors also thank the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS) for the provision of the beamtime for experiment number 20221482. The authors also thank KAUST Imaging Core Lab, particularly Dr. Valentina Musteata for discussions in the starting phase of this work.


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