Many natural and man-made materials are hierarchical, i.e., exhibiting important structure at many different length scales. Wood is a good example, where the ordering of cellulose at different length scales provides its mechanical properties.

ForMAX allows multiscale structural characterization of hierarchical materials by an unique combination of full-field microtomography on microscopic length scales with small-and wide-angle x-ray scattering (SWAXS) on nanoscopic legth scales. Full-field imaging and scattering can be carried out in a sequential manner and the switching between modes is efficient. The temporal resolution is sufficient to follow material processing in situ.

Besides wood-based materials, ForMAX is also suitable for multiscale stuctural characterization of other hierarchical materials, such as food, textiles, or bone.