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New technology sharpens X-ray vision
Date:1/20/2008

d because x-rays penetrate a material without damaging it, dark-field images could help reveal scattering-producing micro-cracks and corrosion in structures such as airplane wings or the hulls of boats.

Researchers have been working on dark-field x-ray images for many years, explains Franz Pfeiffer, a professor at EPFL and researcher at the PSI. Up until now these images have only been possible using sophisticated crystal optical elements. Crystal optics, however, only work for a single x-ray wavelength and thus are highly inefficient. Our new technique uses novel x-ray optical components, in the form of nanostructured gratings, that permit the use of a broad energy spectrum, including the standard range of energies in traditional x-ray equipment used in hospitals or airports, adds Christian David, Pfeiffers colleague at PSI. This opens up the possibility for adapting current imaging equipment to include dark-field imaging.

Pfeiffer plans to collaborate with the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM), a joint center with the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva and their associated hospitals, to develop an adaptation for existing medical equipment. When combined with the phase contrast imaging technique that we developed in 2006, we now have the possibility of providing the same range of imaging techniques in broad-spectrum x-ray imaging that we do with visible light.


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Contact: Franz Pfeiffer
franz.pfeiffer@epfl.ch
41-763-201-045
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert  

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