Studies of a prototype linear stationary x-ray source for tomosynthesis imaging

P. R. Schwoebel, John M Boone, Joe Shao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A prototype linear x-ray source to implement stationary source-stationary detector tomosynthesis (TS) imaging has been studied. Potential applications include human breast and small animal imaging. The source is comprised of ten x-ray source elements each consisting of a field emission cathode, electrostatic lens, and target. The electrostatic lens and target are common to all elements. The source elements form x-ray focal spots with minimum diameters of 0.3-0.4mm at electron beam currents of up to 40mA with a beam voltage of 40kV. The x-ray flux versus time was quantified from each source. X-ray bremsstrahlung spectra from tungsten targets were produced using electron beam energies from 35 to 50keV. The half-value layer was measured to be 0.8, 0.9, and 1.0mm, respectively, for the 35, 40, and 45kV tube potentials using the tungsten target. The suppression of voltage breakdown events, particularly during source operation, and the use of a modified form of the standard cold-cathode geometry, enhanced source reliability. The prototype linear source was used to collect tomographic data sets of a mouse phantom using digital TS reconstruction methods and demonstrated a slice-sensitivity profile with a full-width-half-maximum of 1.3mm. Lastly, preliminary studies of tomographic imaging of flow through the mouse phantom were performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2393-2413
Number of pages21
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 21 2014


  • digital tomosynthesis
  • stationary x-ray source
  • tomographicmedical imaging
  • vascular dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Medicine(all)


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