Small-angle X-ray scattering tensor tomography: Model of the three-dimensional reciprocal-space map, reconstruction algorithm and angular sampling requirements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Small-angle X-ray scattering tensor tomography, which allows reconstruction of the local three-dimensional reciprocal-space map within a three-dimensional sample as introduced by Liebi et al. [Nature (2015), 527, 349-352], is described in more detail with regard to the mathematical framework and the optimization algorithm. For the case of trabecular bone samples from vertebrae it is shown that the model of the three-dimensional reciprocal-space map using spherical harmonics can adequately describe the measured data. The method enables the determination of nanostructure orientation and degree of orientation as demonstrated previously in a single momentum transfer q range. This article presents a reconstruction of the complete reciprocal-space map for the case of bone over extended ranges of q. In addition, it is shown that uniform angular sampling and advanced regularization strategies help to reduce the amount of data required.The mathematical framework and reconstruction algorithm for small-angle scattering tensor tomography are introduced in detail, as well as strategies which help to reduce the amount of data and therewith the measurement time required. Experimental validation is provided for the application to trabecular bone.


  • Marianne Liebi
  • Marios Georgiadis
  • Joachim Kohlbrecher
  • Mirko Holler
  • Jörg Raabe
  • Ivan Usov
  • Andreas Menzel
  • Philipp Schneider
  • Oliver Bunk
  • Manuel Guizar-Sicairos
External organisations
  • Paul Scherrer Institute
  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • ETH Zürich
  • University of Southampton
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Laboratory and Measurements Technologies


  • bone, small-angle X-ray scattering, spherical harmonics, tensor tomography
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-24
Number of pages13
JournalActa Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch