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Improve first-pass yield by 1 second CT scans

Improve first-pass yield by 1 second CT scans

High-speed inline CT with MetalJet E1+

Reliable energy storage and efficient renewable energy production are key to a sustainable future. Fast-changing global vehicle fleets will require exponential growth in the number of battery cells produced. Excillum’s MetalJet X-ray sources enable full inline CT scanning capabilities with micrometer resolution, giving manufacturers the high-speed, high-resolution 3D imaging they need to increase the yield as well as ensure product safety and quality at the highest throughputs.

Improve first-pass yield by 1 second CT scans

Inline X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a powerful inspection technique that can further reduce the risk of defects and recalls, compared with today’s 2D X-ray inspection techniques. Furthermore, when X-ray CT is integrated in cell assembly, defects can be automatically detected in real-time to enable immediate corrective actions, thereby eliminating yield losses and quickening change control-type processes. However, to achieve the levels of inspection coverage, throughput, and resolution necessary for high-volume battery production, a high-power X-ray source with a micrometer-sized X-ray spot is necessary. The Excillum MetalJet E1+ source makes this possible, achieving a full scan with micrometer resolution in just one second, or less.

Improve first-pass yield by 1 second CT scans

Anode-cathode overhang

An internal feature to be inspected during manufacturing of a battery is the anode overhang. The anode should be dimensioned to overlap the cathode. To produce this with repeatability puts high demands on the manufacturing and process precisions. To inspect this with precision in prismatic battery cells, X-ray CT is a pre-requisite. Furthermore, to have a 3D model of each produced battery cell can be very helpful for forensics in case a battery cell fails in the field – in order to minimize a recall to an as small volume as possible.

Improve first-pass yield by 1 second CT scans

These images, of pouch, prismatic and cylindrical cells, were captured in just one second, or less, by an Excillum MetalJet E1+ X-ray source, making CT highly suitable for inline and end-of-line inspection during high-volume manufacturing.

Improve first-pass yield by 1 second CT scans

About the Excillum MetalJet E1+

High speed full inline CT scanning by MetalJet technology

The MetalJet E1+ delivers 17 times higher X-ray brightness compared to conventional microfocus X-ray sources, which enables fast inline CT inspection in battery cell manufacturing.

Excillum’s MetalJet X-ray tubes feature a liquid-metal jet anode, eliminating traditional X-ray source power limitations caused by anode damage. This innovation supports higher electron-beam power, resulting​ in significantly increased X-ray brightness.​


Built for 24/7 continuous performance

The MetalJet E1+ is designed for high-throughput, 100% duty-cycle operation with up to once-per-year preventive maintenance cycles. This eliminates the need for frequent filament changes as required by traditional tubes.

Sub-µm positional stability

Although running at a high thermal load of 1000 W, the MetalJet E1+ maintains a positional stability of below 1 µm during continuous long-term operation.

Features and benefits

  • Extreme microfocus source power​
  • Superior spot quality​
  • Minimal maintenance​
  • LaB6 long-life cathode​
  • Very stable X-ray emission and spot position​
  • No external cooling water requirement
  • User-friendly Graphical User Interface
  • Controlled through GUI or TCP/IP protocol
  • Operated remotely from any computer

Technical specifications


Target material1

Target type



Max current 

Liquid metal alloy

Liquid jet

30-160 kV

0-1000 W

6.25 mA

Min. focal spot size

Emission stability3

Position stability3

Min. focus-object distance

Beam angle

< 10 μm

< 1%

< 1 μm




1) The room temperature liquid metal alloys supplied for the MetalJet source consist mainly of gallium, indium and tin. They have low reactivity and low toxicity but should be handled according to their safety data sheets and local regulations.
2) The actual power used is dependent on spot-size and voltage. However, maximum output power of the 160 kV high-voltage generators is 3000 W software limited to 1000 W.
3) Standard deviation.




1 second X-ray CT of an EV battery cell

In the below video, you’ll see an example of how we achieve a full CT-scan with micrometer resolution of an EV battery cell in only 1 second, using our MetalJet E1+, a high-performance detector from Direct Conversion (Thor FX20.256 CdTe) and a high-speed, high-precision rotation stage.