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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Automatic projection image registration for nanoscale X‐ray tomographic reconstruction


Novel developments in X-ray sources, optics and detectors have significantly advanced the capability of X-ray microscopy at the nanoscale. Depending on the imaging modality and the photon energy, state-of-the-art X-ray microscopes are routinely operated at a spatial resolution of tens of nanometres for hard X-rays or ∼10 nm for soft X-rays. The improvement in spatial resolution, however, has led to challenges in the tomographic reconstruction due to the fact that the imperfections of the mechanical system become clearly detectable in the projection images. Without proper registration of the projection images, a severe point spread function will be introduced into the tomographic reconstructions, causing the reduction of the three-dimensional (3D) spatial resolution as well as the enhancement of image artifacts. Here the development of a method that iteratively performs registration of the experimentally measured projection images to those that are numerically calculated by reprojecting the 3D matrix in the corresponding viewing angles is shown. Multiple algorithms are implemented to conduct the registration, which corrects the translational and/or the rotational errors. A sequence that offers a superior performance is presented and discussed. Going beyond the visual assessment of the reconstruction results, the morphological quantification of a battery electrode particle that has gone through substantial cycling is investigated. The results show that the presented method has led to a better quality tomographic reconstruction, which, subsequently, promotes the fidelity in the quantification of the sample morphology.

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