Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Nanotomography comes of age

The use of X-rays to construct three-dimensional tomographic images is well established in medicine. The same principle is being extended to the nanoscale, bringing us startlingly accurate pictures of tiny objects.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Plug away.
Figure 2: Nanoscale bio-tomography.


  1. Yin, G. -C. et al. Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 241115 (2006).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Attwood, D. Soft X-Rays and Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation: Principles and Applications (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000).

    Google Scholar 


  4. Larabell, C. & Le Gros, M. Mol. Biol. Cell 15, 957–962 (2004).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Le Gros, M., McDermott, G. & Larabell, C. Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 15, 593–600 (2005).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Schneider, G. et al. Surface Rev. Lett. 9, 177–184 (2002).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Chao, W., Harteneck, B., Liddle, J., Anderson, E. & Attwood, D. Nature 435, 1210–1213 (2005).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Fischer, P. et al. Mater. Today 9, 26–33 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Tang, M. -T. et al. in Proc. 8th Int. Conf. X-ray Microscopy (eds Aoki, S., Kagoshima, Y. & Suzuki, Y.) 15 (IPAP, Tokyo, 2006).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Fabrizio, E. D. et al. Nature 401, 895–898 (1999).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  11. Wilhein, T., Kaulich, B. & Susini, J. Optics Commun. 193, 19–26 (2001).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Chang, C., Sakdinawat, A., Fischer, P., Anderson, E. & Attwood, D. Opt. Lett. 31, 1564–1566 (2006).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Attwood, D. Nanotomography comes of age. Nature 442, 642–643 (2006).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing