Hokkaido University Research Profiles

Manufacturing Technology

Super-hierarchical Structure Imaging Through the Combined Use of Neutrons and X-rays

Non-destructive imaging of unknown information over a wide range of scales using multi-quantum beams

Pulsed neutron transmission spectroscopy imaging is attracting attention as a method of non-destructive visualization of information that cannot be seen with other microscopic methods, and when it is combined with other quantum beams such as X-rays, it is possible to visualize information that cannot be seen with images alone.

Content of research

Hokkaido University’s laboratory facilities, where small accelerators are used, have a history of nearly half a century, and are attracting worldwide attention as pioneering facilities. We mainly produce pulsed neutron beams, and the transmission spectra obtained using these beams enable us to map information on crystal structure, microstructure, internal stress and temperature on a two-dimensional real image as a distribution map of the entire sample. We also use X-ray CT which can measure the three-dimensional structure of the inside of an object, and analyze the combined results from neutrons and X-ray studies to synergistically understand the interior information of an object. In the figure, shown as synergistic imaging based on information from neutrons and X-rays, information on elements that cannot be individually obtained is mapped on the inside structure shown on the X-ray CT image. X-ray CT shows the presence of wires in an Al cylinder, but when neutron information is added, we can see that each wire is a different material.

Potential for social implementation

  • ・Measurement of martensitic phase distribution in steel
  • ・Non-destructive imaging of residual strain
  • ・Non-destructive imaging of ancient cultural properties
  • ・Identification of nuclides and their distribution measurement
  • ・Magnetic field imaging
  • Imaging of temperature distribution inside an object

Appealing points to industry and local governments

Our laboratory is developing new measurement methods using accelerator neutron sources and their applications. Through the installation and utilization of beam sources and active involvement in large scale neutron source projects, we are conducting research and education from the generation of quantum beams to their application. We are also cooperating with companies through joint research on industrial applications of quantum beams.