Optimization of soft X-ray phase-contrast tomography using a laser wakefield accelerator

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


X-ray phase-contrast imaging allows for non-invasive analysis in low-absorbing materials, such as soft tissue. Its application in medical or materials science has yet to be realized on a wider scale due to the requirements on the X-ray source, demanding high flux and small source size. Laser wakefield accelerators generate betatron X-rays fulfilling these criteria and can be suitable sources for phase-contrast imaging. In this work, we present the first phase-contrast images obtained by using ionization injection-based laser wakefield acceleration, which results in a higher photon yield and smoother X-ray beam profile compared to self-injection. A peak photon yield of 1.9 × 1011 ph/sr and a source size of 3 μm were estimated. Furthermore, the current laser parameters produce an X-ray spectrum mainly in the soft X-ray range, in which laser-plasma based phase-contrast imaging had yet to be studied. The phase-contrast images of a Chrysopa lacewing resolve features on the order of 4 μm. These images are further used for a tomographic reconstruction and a volume rendering, showing details on the order of tens of μm.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics


  • betatron radiation, laser-wakefield acceleration, phase-contrast imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33930-33941
JournalOptics Express
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 24
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Ekerfelt, H., 2019 May 21, Lund: Department of Physics, Lund University. 166 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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