Modeling and characterization of X-ray yield in a polychromatic, lab-scale, X-ray computed tomography system

J. C E Mertens, Nikhilesh Chawla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A modular X-ray computed micro-tomography (μXCT) system is characterized in terms of X-ray yield resulting both from the generated X-ray spectrum and from X-ray detection with an energy-sensitive detector. The X-ray computed tomography system is composed of a commercially available cone-beam microfocus X-ray source and a modular optically-coupled-CCD-scintillator X-ray detector. The X-ray yield is measured and reported in units independent from exposure time, X-ray tube beam target current, and cone-beam-to-detector geometry. The polychromatic X-ray source is modeled as a broad Bremsstrahlung X-ray spectrum in order to understand the effect of the controllable parameters, that is, X-ray tube accelerating voltage and X-ray beam filtering. An approach is adopted which expresses the absolute number of emitted X-rays. The response of the energy-sensitive detector to the modeled spectrum is modeled as a function of scintillator composition and thickness. The detection efficiency model for the polychromatic X-ray detector considers the response of the light collection system and the electronic imaging array in order to predict absolute count yield under the studied conditions. The modeling approach is applied to the specific hardware implemented in the current μXCT system. The model's predictions for absolute detection rate are in reasonable agreement with measured values under a range of conditions applied to the system for X-ray microtomography imaging, particularly for the LuAG:Ce scintillator material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-116
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
StatePublished - May 21 2015


  • Bremsstrahlung
  • Detection
  • Micro-CT
  • Micro-tomography
  • Polychromatic
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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