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National X-ray Computed Tomography (NXCT) is the National Research Facility for lab-based X-ray computed tomography


Established in November 2020, we bring together world-leading capability in lab-based X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT) from the universities of Manchester, Southampton, Warwick, University College London and Diamond Light Source. The NXCT is a £10m investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in capital and recurrent funding to support research in the UK.

The NXCT Hub in Manchester is hosted by the Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials. In 2021, Royce will open a dedicated space on the second floor of its new hub building to host a Data Visualisation and Analysis Support Centre to support new users.

As the UK’s national research facility, we provide an unparalleled combination of 3D imaging facilities and data analysis, research knowledge and technical experience to support users that have never worked with X-ray scanning before and help advanced users conduct exciting new experiments. Together, the five partners provide a unique and diverse shared capability to the UK. The NXCT will provide:

  • access to state-of-the-art X-ray instruments
  • technical support for new and existing  users
  • the expertise to design complex experiments
  • the infrastructure and resources to analyse 3D and 4D data.

Access and Enquiries

To support its initial set-up phase, we have launched this new website with further functionality to be implemented in 2021. Through this website potential users can make general enquiries and apply to use NXCT equipment. We can also supply information needed to support grant proposals. If you are interested in finding out more about what the NXCT can offer, please do make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.

NXCT’s mission is to improve X-ray CT accessibility for UK researchers. To support this, we have established a ‘Free Beamtime Access Scheme’ to support research, teaching, or public engagement projects that will benefit from X-ray CT imaging facilities and expertise. Please visit the Accessing Equipment page to find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

We welcome enquiries from the industrial community and we are keen to work together. If you are an SME you can get into touch via the NXCT enquiry form here to discuss the further support we have available.


Now part of the NXCT at The University of Manchester, The Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility (HMXIF) was established in 2008 by Professor Philip Withers, going on to become one of the most extensive suites of 3D X-ray imaging facilities in the world. In 2014, The University of Manchester was presented with the most prestigious award in UK higher education, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education (2012-2014) for “New Techniques in X-Ray Imaging of Materials Critical for Power, Transport and Other Key Industries”.

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About X-ray Computed Tomography

X-ray computed tomography (XCT) produces 3D images showing internal and external features at microscopic detail, all achieved non-destructively. XCT can characterise objects as they are tested mechanically, heated or exposed to combinations of external conditions, simulating real-world environments, such as manufacturing of materials, geological processes, or movement of a knee joint. This can help understand complex changes taking place inside objects, in situ, as they occur.