A UNT engineering researcher is helping to develop a new and more effective way to obtain 3D images, which could have significant applications in physical and life sciences.
Jincheng Du, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, worked with a team of researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Colorado on the findings, which are detailed in the January issue of Nature.
The group developed an imaging process, termed ankylography, which can capture a 3D image from a single exposure using a coherent monochromatic beam. The approach measures the diffraction pattern on a spherical surface, and the two-dimensional pattern is used to construct the 3D image.
This innovative method could eventually replace the current method, which must collect multiple measurements to generate a single 3D image. This approach is used in confocal microscopy and crystallography.
"This is a novel development that could have a huge impact on science and technology," Du says. "It is a much more effective, efficient way of obtaining a 3D image."
To develop the method, scientists used sodium silicate glasses as a test case. Glass structure lacks long range order and presents one of the greatest challenges in modern physics. Sodium silicate glasses are an archetype for a wide variety of oxide glasses, from glassware and window panes to optical fibers, photonics devices and bioactive glasses for bone restoration and coating for medical implants.
Using multi scale simulations, Du's research group generated the atomic structure and total electron density distributions of the glass, which were necessary to create a 3D image.
For ankylography to be used readily in physical and life sciences, further advancements need to be made in detector technology. The researchers believe those developments are not far off.
Du is a member of UNT's Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Modeling (CASCaM) and the Materials Modeling Research Cluster.
Sarah Bahari with UNT News Service
can be reached at Sarah.Bahari@unt.edu.