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ZEISS introduces newest release of LabDCT diffraction contrast tomography platform for analytical 3D materials imaging

Advanced analytical module for tomography in the laboratory provides 3D grain imaging

Non-destructive LabDCT 3D grain structure of iron. Internal crystallography (color) revealed by diffraction information (black and white).
Non-destructive LabDCT 3D grain structure of iron. Internal crystallography (color) revealed by diffraction information (black and white).

ZEISS is extending the boundaries of non-destructive 3D X-ray imaging with the newest release of its diffraction contrast tomography platform, LabDCT. LabDCT provides large volume 3D maps of grains, the fundamental building blocks of metal alloys and other polycrystalline materials. Materials researchers can now combine 3D crystallographic grain imaging with the ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa X-ray microscope (XRM), the industry-leading solution for studying samples at high resolution and contrast in a variety of in situ environments for 3D and 4D analysis.

LabDCT enables the discovery of structure-property relationships in 3D and provides important input for predictive engineering materials design. “Our mission is to advance materials research by providing a correlative multi-scale and multi-dimensional microscopy portfolio,” says Dr. Michael Rauscher, head of marketing for materials science microscopy at ZEISS. “The latest LabDCT release enables large volume sampling and importantly, also faster acquisition of grain statistics, and is complementary to existing orientation mapping tools like 2D/3D EBSD, or electron backscattered diffraction.”

Nik Chawla, Arizona State University professor of materials science and engineering, and the director of the Center for 4D Materials Science (4DMS), says, “3D X-ray provides a new dimension to studying metallic alloys. With our ZEISS Xradia Versa system and LabDCT, we can do cutting edge-experiments in-house. The 24/7 access reduces the long wait times between synchrotron trips, while allowing us to perform long-term uninterrupted studies on corrosion and crack growth.”

The unique ZEISS Xradia Versa architecture and synchrotron-caliber optics make it the only lab-system able to deliver diffraction contrast tomography. LabDCT builds on the resolution, contrast, sample flexibility, large working distance, and versatility inherent in the X-ray microscope platform. LabDCT includes GrainMapper3D analysis software developed by Xnovo Technology ApS. It is seamlessly integrated into the ZEISS Xradia Versa Scout-and-Scan control system software, an efficient workflow environment that allows users to easily scout a region of interest, then zoom at higher magnification/resolution with the exclusive dual magnification microscope objectives that enable “resolution at a distance” (RaaD). The LabDCT module is an available option for the ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa 3D X-ray microscope for existing users with easy upgradability.


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and about 25 research and development centers around the globe.

In fiscal year 2015/16 the company generated revenue approximating €4.9 billion with over 25,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

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The Microscopy business group is the world’s only one-stop manufacturer of light, electron, X-ray and ion microscope systems. The portfolio compromises solutions and services for the life sciences and materials research as well as for industry, education and clinical practice. The business group is headquartered in Jena. Additional production and development sites are located in Oberkochen, Göttingen and Munich, as well as in Cambridge in the UK, and in Peabody, MA and Pleasanton, CA in the USA. The business group is allocated to the Research & Quality Technology segment. Around 6,100 employees work for the segment, generating revenue totaling €1.5 billion in fiscal year 2015/16.

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