Center for X-ray Optics

Simple propagation-based X-ray phase contrast image of an insect, obtained with a conventional (large spot) x-ray source and a polycapillary optic.The Center for X-ray Optics specializes in developing x-ray techniques and technology for a variety of applications.  A major recent emphasis is on the development of simple techniques to bring practical x-ray phase imaging to clinical and industrial settings.  The center was founded in 1991 as a collection of faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students and international collaborators studying the properties and application of x-ray and neutron optics.  

Areas of Research

Medical Applications

  • Simulated dose mapping using polycapillary optic for the treatment of macular degeneration. From Huagang Yan, Weiyuan Sun, Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, Beth Beadle, Weihong Yu, Bushra Kanwal, Carolyn MacDonald, and Wu Liu, “Dosimetry Modeling of Focused kV X-ray Radiotherapy for Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration,” Med. Phys. 47 (10), pp. 5123-5134. 2020. Phase Contrast Imaging
  • Monocromatic Radiography 
  • X-ray and Neutron Therapy
  • MicroScintigraphy

Materials Applications

  • Microdiffraction
  • Microfluorescence

Diffraction pattern from lysosome using convergent beam produced by polycapillary optics.

Basic Research

  • Phase Theory
  • Scattering Theory
  • Surface Effects
  • Radiation Effects

Facilities include a 1200 sq ft laboratory housing multiple x-ray beam lines consisting of rotating anode or microfocus x-ray sources with copper, molydenum and tungsten targets, motion control systems for optic alignment and testing, and high resolution energy sensitive or imaging detectors.