Mammography spectrum measurement using an x-ray diffraction device

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The use of a diffraction spectrometer developed by Deslattes for the determination of mammographic kV is extended to the measurement of accurate, relative x-ray spectra. Raw x-ray spectra (photon fluence versus energy) are determined by passing an x-ray beam through a bent quartz diffraction crystal, and the diffracted x-rays are detected by an x-ray intensifying screen coupled to a charge coupled device. Two nonlinear correction procedures, one operating on the energy axis and the other operating on the fluence axis, are described and performed on measured x-ray spectra. The corrected x-ray spectra are compared against tabulated x-ray spectra measured under nearly identical conditions. Results indicate that the current device is capable of producing accurate relative x-ray spectral measurements in the energy region from 12 keV to 40 keV, which represents most of the screen- film mammography energy range. Twelve keV is the low-energy cut-off, due to the design geometry of the device. The spectrometer was also used to determine the energy-dependent x-ray mass attenuation coefficients for aluminium, with excellent results in the 12-30 keV range. Additional utility of the device for accurately determining the attenuation characteristics of various normal and abnormal breast tissues and phantom substitutes is anticipated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2569-2582
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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