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X-ray Phase-Contrast Imaging


X-ray imaging is well known by everybody. An attenuation image is taken for medical diagnostics and non-destructive testing.

X-ray phase-contrast and dark-field imaging additionally provides information about the phase-shift and the scattering of the incoming x-ray wave. For this purpose a Talbot-Lau interferometer is used. Interferometric effects are exploited to measure the three different images: attenuation, differential phase-contrast and dark-field image. In Figure 1 all three images of a mouse are shown. On top the attenuation image shows a high contrast between high absorbing structures inside the mouse like bones and low absorbing structures like tissue. In the middle especially edges between different materials are enhanced in the differential phase-contrast image. The dark-field image on the bottom reveals scattering structures like the alveoli of the lung and the hairs.


Figure 1: Recording of a mouse in all three image contrast modalities obtained within one grating interferometer measurement process: attenuation (top); differential phase-contrast (middle) and dark-field (bottom).


This opened a wide range of new applications in the fields of medical physics, non-destructive testing and in recent years also laboratory astrophysics.

The science case for the phase-contrast imaging group at ECAP is to evaluate the potential of phase-contrast imaging for different fields of science and to further improve the feasibility of phase-contrast and dark-field imaging. We coperate with the Phase-Contrast Imaging group at the Pattern Recognition Lab (