X-ray phase-contrast tomography with a compact laser-driven synchrotron source.

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Between X-ray tubes and large-scale synchrotron sources, a large gap in performance exists with respect to the monochromaticity and brilliance of the X-ray beam. However, due to their size and cost, large-scale synchrotrons are not available for more routine applications in small and medium-sized academic or industrial laboratories. This gap could be closed by laser-driven compact synchrotron light sources (CLS), which use an infrared (IR) laser cavity in combination with a small electron storage ring. Hard X-rays are produced through the process of inverse Compton scattering upon the intersection of the electron bunch with the focused laser beam. The produced X-ray beam is intrinsically monochromatic and highly collimated. This makes a CLS well-suited for applications of more advanced--and more challenging--X-ray imaging approaches, such as X-ray multimodal tomography. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first results of a first successful demonstration experiment in which a monochromatic X-ray beam from a CLS was used for multimodal, i.e., phase-, dark-field, and attenuation-contrast, X-ray tomography. We show results from a fluid phantom with different liquids and a biomedical application example in the form of a multimodal CT scan of a small animal (mouse, ex vivo). The results highlight particularly that quantitative multimodal CT has become feasible with laser-driven CLS, and that the results outperform more conventional approaches.


  • Elena Eggl
  • Simone Schleede
  • Martin Bech
  • Klaus Achterhold
  • Roderick Loewen
  • Ronald D Ruth
  • Franz Pfeiffer
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5567-5572
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

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