ntCT – forward thinking Nano CT

3D-computed tomography for the visualization of smallest structures

Siemens Star Test Chart. Smallest features of 150 nm lines and spaces

The functional features of novel material systems are often based on their complex inner structures, which are not accessible by established non-destructive analysis methods. The fabrication of microelectronics and micromechanics becomes more and more complex, packed and 3D. After decades of successful miniaturization, industry now produces structures too small for established process control, hindering further improvements. Moreover, biological investigations would require more detailed 3D information of hidden inner structures in order to understand the morphology of various organisms, but such samples often provide too low material contrast.

The ntCT provides a unique solution for all these high-resolution measurements far ahead of established industrial micro CT scanners by applying the latest developments from x-ray research.

State-of-the-art components merged into a unique synthesis

© Fraunhofer IIS
NanoTube N1, a 60 kV X-ray tube with tungsten-diamond transmission target
© Fraunhofer IIS
Cutting edge direct photon counting detector system.

Our experience in both hardware and software design enables us to perfectly adapt systems to your individual needs. Besides using only high-precision components, we also develop state-of-the-art reconstruction algorithms. The Swedish company Excillum is a specialized manufacturer of high performance X-ray sources. Excillum’s NanoTube N1, a 60 kV X-ray tube with latest tungsten-diamond transmission target technology, automatic e-beam focusing and astigmatism correction, ensures that the smallest possible, truly round X-ray spot is achieved.

The Swiss company DECTRIS is the most experienced company in photon counting X-ray detectors, which feature several advantages compared to commonly used flat-panel detectors. Most importantly, zero readout noise and zero dark current enable an optimum signal-to-noise ratio. Thus, the dynamic range of our X-ray radiographies is not limited by the detector. Moreover, dual energy discrimination enables digital spectrum adjustment.

High stability: the prerequisite for outstanding resolution

For highest resolution typical measurement times are 5-20h. Such relatively long scan times are only possible due to our high system stability combined with advanced image processing.


Application Examples

© Fraunhofer IIS
c. elegans (nematode, sample provided by Prof. Stigloher, University Würzburg)
© Fraunhofer IIS
Integrated circuits of a graphic card

Technical specifications





Sample stage




Sample adjustment


Field of View

100µm – 10mm

Detector stage




System footprint

2.2m x 1.2m



Sample weight





Pixel size


X-Ray spot size


Accept. photon energy

4keV – 60keV

Acc. voltage




tungsten-diamond transmission target


Environmental requirements


Dry air



Temperature stability of ± 1.5° K



Cooling water (optional)