X-ray microtomography is an established tool for three-dimensional (3D) imaging of thick structures at micron scale.
The fast microtomography system developed at beamline 2-BM of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) offers near
video-rate acquisition of tomographic data at micrometer spatial resolution, pipelined processing, and 3D visualization.
At its maximum throughput, the system can image hundreds of specimens per day. Every sample is fully analyzed within
2-3 minutes, giving the user immediate feedback on the quality of the results.
The entire instrument, including the tomography setup, automatic sample loader, beamline, and a dedicated 32-node
computer cluster for data analysis, is also remotely accessible via Access Grid (AG) technology giving a user full remote
control of every aspect of the experiment.
During the last year the 2-BM microtomography system has been extensively used to resolve the density distribution of
biological and material samples at micrometer spatial resolution. The final results are usually presented as a 3D volume
or as slices. The quasi-real-time feature of the system has been instrumental in several applications in both biological
applications, where a statistical approach is needed to characterize a broad population of samples, and in material
science, where time-dependent 3D sample evolution can be studied on practical time scales. In this paper we present the
current beamline status and the latest experimental results.