Article

International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 95-110

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Advanced Nanoscale Characterization of Cement Based Materials Using X-Ray Synchrotron Radiation: A Review

  • Sejung R. ChaeAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • , Juhyuk MoonAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • , Seyoon YoonAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • , Sungchul BaeAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • , Pierre LevitzAffiliated withLaboratory PECSA, CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
  • , Robert WinarskiAffiliated withCenter for Nanaoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory
  • , Paulo J. M. MonteiroAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley Email author 

Abstract

We report various synchrotron radiation laboratory based techniques used to characterize cement based materials in nanometer scale. High resolution X-ray transmission imaging combined with a rotational axis allows for rendering of samples in three dimensions revealing volumetric details. Scanning transmission X-ray microscope combines high spatial resolution imaging with high spectral resolution of the incident beam to reveal X-ray absorption near edge structure variations in the material nanostructure. Microdiffraction scans the surface of a sample to map its high order reflection or crystallographic variations with a micron-sized incident beam. High pressure X-ray diffraction measures compressibility of pure phase materials. Unique results of studies using the above tools are discussed—a study of pores, connectivity, and morphology of a 2,000 year old concrete using nanotomography; detection of localized and varying silicate chain depolymerization in Al-substituted tobermorite, and quantification of monosulfate distribution in tricalcium aluminate hydration using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy; detection and mapping of hydration products in high volume fly ash paste using microdiffraction; and determination of mechanical properties of various AFm phases using high pressure X-ray diffraction.

Keywords

X-ray microscopy tomography STXM X-ray diffraction high pressure tobermorite CSH fly ash