Applied Physics A

, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 195–202

Applications of X-ray synchrotron microtomography for non-destructive 3D studies of paleontological specimens

Authors

    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • R. Boistel
    • Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de l’Apprentissage de la Mémoire et de la Communication, UMR CNRS 8620Université Paris Sud
  • E. Boller
    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • A. Bravin
    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • M. Brunet
    • Laboratoire de Géobiologie Biochronologie et Paléontologie Humaine, UMR CNRS 6046Université de Poitiers
  • Y. Chaimanee
    • Paleontology Section, Geological Survey DivisionDepartment of Mineral Resources
  • P. Cloetens
    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • M. Feist
    • Laboratoire de Paléontologie, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, UMR CNRS 5554, cc 064Université de Montpellier II
  • J. Hoszowska
    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • J.-J. Jaeger
    • Laboratoire de Paléontologie, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, UMR CNRS 5554, cc 064Université de Montpellier II
  • R.F. Kay
    • Department of Biological, Anthropology and AnatomyDuke University
  • V. Lazzari
    • Laboratoire de Paléontologie, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, UMR CNRS 5554, cc 064Université de Montpellier II
  • L. Marivaux
    • Laboratoire de Paléontologie, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, UMR CNRS 5554, cc 064Université de Montpellier II
  • A. Nel
    • CNRS UMR 5143, EntomologieMuséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
  • C. Nemoz
    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • X. Thibault
    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  • P. Vignaud
    • Laboratoire de Géobiologie Biochronologie et Paléontologie Humaine, UMR CNRS 6046Université de Poitiers
  • S. Zabler
    • Department of Materials Science (SF3)Hahn Meitner Institute
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00339-006-3507-2

Cite this article as:
Tafforeau, P., Boistel, R., Boller, E. et al. Appl. Phys. A (2006) 83: 195. doi:10.1007/s00339-006-3507-2

Abstract

Paleontologists are quite recent newcomers among the users of X-ray synchrotron imaging techniques at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). Studies of the external morphological characteristics of a fossil organism are not sufficient to extract all the information for a paleontological study. Nowadays observations of internal structures become increasingly important, but these observations should be non-destructive in order to preserve the important specimens. Conventional microtomography allows performing part of these investigations. Nevertheless, the best microtomographic images are obtained using third-generation synchrotrons producing hard X-rays, such as the ESRF. Firstly, monochromatisation avoids beam hardening that is frequently strong for paleontological samples. Secondly, the high beam intensity available at synchrotron radiation sources allows rapid data acquisition at very high spatial resolutions, resulting in precise mapping of the internal structures of the sample. Thirdly, high coherence leads to additional imaging possibilities: phase contrast radiography, phase contrast microtomography and holotomography. These methods greatly improve the image contrast and therefore allow studying fossils that cannot be investigated by conventional microtomography due to a high degree of mineralisation or low absorption contrast. Thanks to these different properties and imaging techniques, a synchrotron radiation source and the ESRF in particular appears as an almost ideal investigation tool for paleontology.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006