University at Albany

Physics Faculty

Carolyn MacDonald
Professor, Director X-Ray Institute

Office: Physics 223/Life Sciences 1145
Telephone: 518-772-4585

Academic History:
  • Ph.D. Harvard University (1986)
  • Assisstant Professor, University at Albany (1986-1994)
  • Associate Director, Center for X-ray Optics (1991-2002) 
  • Associate Professor, University at Albany (1994-1998)
  • Professor, University at Albany (1998-present)
  • Director, Center for X-ray Optics (2002-present)
  • Chair, Physics (2008-2014)
Research Areas:
  • Medical imaging 
  • Materials science 
  • X-ray Optics 
Current Research:
My current research is primarily involved with the development of x-ray technology, especially the application of crystal and polycapillary x-ray optics to a variety of applications, including medical imaging, therapy, and materials analysis. Areas of current investigation include the use of scatter rejection grids to tissue type imaging, the use of polycapillary and curved crystal optics to produce monochromatic beams for diffraction enhanced and phase imaging, the development of a "micro gamma camera" for nuclear medicine, and the development of convergent beam diffraction systems for protein and macromolecular crystallography. Current and past external funding exceeds $4M, primarily from NIH, NASA and the Breast Cancer Research Program.
Research Links:
Selected Publications (of > 100):

1. H. Abbas, D.N. Mahato, S. Satti, “Measurements and Simulations of Focused Beam for OrthovoltageTherapy,” Medical Physics, 2014.

2. Sajjad Tahir, Sajid Bashir, Jonathan C. Petruccelli, Carolyn MacDonald, Fourier transform image processing techniques for grid-based phase imaging, Proc. SPIE 9209, Advances in Computational Methods for X-Ray Optics III, 920913 doi: 10.1117/12.2062889.

3. Sajid Bashir, Jonathan C. Petruccelli, Carolyn MacDonald, Phase imaging using polycapillary optics Proc. SPIE 9207, Advances in X-Ray/EUV Optics and Components IX, 92070X, doi:10.1117/12.2063229.

4. Bushra Kanwal, Alexandru F. Petrescu, Tianxi Sun, Carolyn A. MacDonald, Modeling of a compound imaging system with a curved monochromator and polycapillary optics in Proc. SPIE 9209, Advances in Computational Methods for X-Ray Optics III, 92090O doi:10.1117/12.2063309

5. Laila Hassan, Lubna Peerzada, Katie Kern, C. A. MacDonald, “Coherent scatter imaging simulation forscreening mammography,” in Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications XIII, Proceedings of SPIE Volume: 8509, 2012.

6. Tianxi Sun and C.A. MacDonald, “Full-field transmission x-ray imaging with confocal polycapillary x-ray optics,” Journal of Applied Physics, 113, pp. 053104-1 to 053104-4 (2013).

7. M. Bass, C. DeCusatis, J Enoch, V. Lakshminarayanan, G. Li, C. MacDonald, V.N. Mahajan, E. VanStryland, eds., Handbook of Optics Third Ed., Volumes I-V, McGraw-Hill 2010.

8. C.A. MacDonald, Focusing Polycapillary Optics and their Applications, X-Ray Optics and Instrumentation, special issue X-Ray Focusing: Techniques and Applications, Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 867049, 17 pages, doi:10.1155/2010/867049.

9. Wei Zhou, Dip Mahato, C.A. MacDonald, “Analysis of Powder X-Ray Diffraction Resolution Using Collimating and Focusing Polycapillary Optics,” Thin Solid Films 518 (18) July 2010, pp. 5047-5056.

10. Ayhan Bingolbali and C.A. MacDonald, "Curved crystal x-ray optics for monochromatic imaging with a clinical source,” Med. Phys. Volume 36, Issue 4, pp. 1176-1183, 2009, doi: 10.1118/1.3083568.

11. N. Mail, C. MacDonald and W. M. Gibson, “Microscintigraphy with high resolution collimators and radiographic imaging detectors” Medical Physics 36 (2), pp. 645-655, 2009.

12. Ayhan Bingolbali and C. A. MacDonald, “Quality assessment system for curved crystal X-ray optics," Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, Volume 267, Issue 5, March 2009, Pages 832-841.

13. Z. W. Chen, W. M. Gibson, N. Mail, C. A. MacDonald, “Total reflection x-ray fluorescence with low power sources coupled to doubly curved crystal optics,” Spectrochimica. Acta. B, 60 (4), pp.471-8, 2005.

14. F.R. Sugiro, Danhong Li, C.A. MacDonald, “Beam Collimation with Polycapillary X-ray Optics for High Contrast High Resolution Monochromatic Imaging,” Med. Phys., 31, p. 3288, 2004.

15. C.A. MacDonald and W.M. Gibson, “Applications and Advances In Polycapillary Optics”, X-ray Spectrometry, 32 (3), 2003, pp 258-268.

16. C.A. MacDonald, W.M. Gibson, and W. Peppler, "X-Ray Optics for Better Diagnostic Imaging," Technology In Cancer Research And Treatment, 1, (2), April 2002, pp 111-118.

17. F.A. Hofmann, W.M. Gibson, C.A. MacDonald, D.A. Carter, J.X. Ho, J.R. Ruble, "Polycapillary Optic - Source combinations for Protein Crystallography," Jour. Applied Crys. 34, pp.330-335, 2001.

18. C.A. MacDonald, S.M. Owens, and W.M. Gibson, "Polycapillary X-Ray Optics for Microdiffraction," Journal of Applied Crystallography, 32, pp160-7, 1999

19. B.K. Rath, W.M. Gibson, Lei Wang, B.E. Homan and C.A. MacDonald, “Measurement and Analysis of Radiation Effects in Polycapillary X-ray Optics,” Journal of Applied Physics, 83, no.12, pp. 7424-7435, June 15 1998

20. Lei Wang, B.K. Rath, W.M. Gibson, J.C. Kimball, C.A. MacDonald, "Performance Study of PolycapillaryOptic Performance for Hard X rays," Journal of Applied Physics, 80 (7), pp.3628-3638, October 1, 1996.

21. D.G. Kruger, C.C. Abreu, E.G. Hendee, A. Kocharian, W.W. Peppler, C.A. Mistretta, C.A. MacDonald, “Imaging Characteristics of X-Ray Capillary Optics in Mammography,” Medical Physics 23 (2), pp. 187-196, February 1996.

22. C.A. MacDonald, "Applications and Measurements of Polycapillary X-Ray Optics," Invited Paper, Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology, 6, pp. 32-47, 1996, PMID 21307511

23. B. Rath, R. Youngman, C.A. MacDonald, "An Automated Test System for Measuring Polycapillary X-Ray Optics," Review of Scientific Instrumentation, 65, pp.3393-3398, Nov. 1994.

24. J.B. Ullrich, W.M. Gibson, M.V. Gubarev, C.A. MacDonald, "Potential for Concentration of Synchrotron Beams with Capillary Optics," Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 347, pp. 401-406, 1994.

25. C.A. MacDonald, A.M. Malvezzi, and F. Spaepen, "Picosecond Time-Resolved Measurements of Crystallization in Noble Metals," Journal of Applied Physics, 65, no. 1, 1988, pp. 129-136.


X-ray Imaging System Employing Point-Focusing, Curved Monochromatic Optics, patent number 07583789, disclosed 2005, filed 2006, granted 2009.

Wide field coherent scatter imaging for radiography using a divergent beam, disclosed 5/2003, application 0794.075filed 12/2006, revised 1/2007, 2/2009, 8/2009, allowed 10/2009.