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BEST IN PHYSICS (IMAGING): Development of High Brightness Multiple-Pixel X-Ray Source Using Oxide Coated Cathodes

P Kandlakunta

P Kandlakunta*, R Pham , T Zhang , Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO


TH-CD-207B-1 (Thursday, August 4, 2016) 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Room: 207B

Purpose: To develop and characterize a high brightness multiple-pixel thermionic emission x-ray (MPTEX) source.

Methods: Multiple-pixel x-ray sources allow for designs of novel x-ray imaging techniques, such as fixed gantry CT, digital tomosynthesis, tetrahedron beam computed tomography, etc. We are developing a high-brightness multiple-pixel thermionic emission x-ray (MPTEX) source based on oxide coated cathodes. Oxide cathode is chosen as the electron source due to its high emission current density and low operating temperature. A MPTEX prototype has been developed which may contain up to 41 micro-rectangular oxide cathodes in 4 mm pixel spacing. Electronics hardware was developed for source control and switching. The cathode emission current was evaluated and x-ray measurements were performed to estimate the focal spot size.

Results: The oxide cathodes were able to produce ~110 mA cathode current in pulse mode which corresponds to an emission current density of 0.55 A/cm². The maximum kVp of the MPTEX prototype currently is limited to 100 kV due to the rating of high voltage feedthrough. Preliminary x-ray measurements estimated the focal spot size as 1.5 x 1.3 mm².

Conclusion: A MPTEX source was developed with thermionic oxide coated cathodes and preliminary source characterization was successfully performed. The MPTEX source is able to produce an array of high brightness x-ray beams with a fast switching speed.

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