High resolution x-ray computed tomography is a powerful non-destructive 3-D imaging method. It can offer superior
resolution on objects that are opaque or low contrast for optical microscopy. Synchrotron based x-ray computed
tomography systems have been available for scientific research, but remain difficult to access for broader users. This
work introduces a lab-based high-resolution x-ray nanotomography system with 50nm resolution in absorption and
Zernike phase contrast modes. Using this system, we have demonstrated high quality 3-D images of polymerized
photonic crystals which have been analyzed for band gap structures. The isotropic volumetric data shows excellent
consistency with other characterization results.
Traditionally, phase proportions in igneous rocks have been estimated by optical microscopy of thin-sectioned rocks to
study the mineralogy and identify the proportions of equilibrium phases. For example, an in-depth investigation of
basaltic igneous rocks recovered from the oceanic crust at Hess Deep, 110Km west of the Galapagos Islands used phase
proportions estimated from petrography to verify results calculated from chemical analyses of the basaltic samples.
Chemical analysis divided these samples into two groupings based on their relative FeO content. Those with low-FeO
contents dominated the volcanic rock subset and those with higher-FeO contents dominated the intrusive subset.
Calculations based on the chemical analyses suggested that plagioclase (an Fe-poor phase) had accumulated in magmas
and resulted in the low-FeO group. Petrographic microscopy supported the calculations by verifying that plagioclase
exist in relatively greater abundance in the low-FeO group compared to the high-FeO group. Optical microscopy
requires the rock samples be sectioned and polished, and then each section is individually imaged in only two
dimensions by the petrographic microscope. From these images modal percent of phases is determined for a threedimensional
sample. Using nondestructive x-ray tomography and three-dimensional image analysis, we produce a more
accurate assessment of phase proportions using an intact lava sample from the low-FeO group, and provide a threedimensional
perspective on the relationship between phases in the rocks unavailable with standard petrographic