University of Cambridge > > BSS Formal Seminars > X-ray phase contrast imaging - detecting the undetectable

X-ray phase contrast imaging - detecting the undetectable

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Eileen Nugent.

X-ray Phase Contrast imaging (XPCi) generates image contrast from interference and refraction effects instead of x-ray attenuation, which leads to enhanced visibility of all details and to the detection of features classically considered “x-ray invisible”.

XPCi thus has great potential in a wide range of applications, from the earlier diagnosis of lesions in medical imaging to the detection of faint blemishes in non-destructive testing.

However, XPCi seemed to require a high level of (at least spatial) coherence, which restricted its use to synchrotron facilities. Microfocal sources can be used but, due to low emitted flux, result in exposure times too long (hours) for most practical applications. Other attempts were based on aperturing/collimating the focal spot of a conventional source to create sufficient spatial coherence, again limiting the source output and resulting in excessive exposure times and/or delivered dose.

After briefly reviewing previous implementations, I will present a method, based on appropriately designed x-ray masks, which works with unapertured and uncollimated conventional x-ray sources, at acceptable exposure times and delivered doses. I will describe how the method works, explain how quantitative features can be extracted from the images, and provide examples of application in various fields.

Finally, I will show how this same method, if implemented with coherent sources, leads to phase sensitivities much higher than in other approaches, and briefly mention the new areas of research that this can enable.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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