The limitations to achievable x-ray brightness within the laboratory1 for x-ray spectra is a well-known problem for improving the throughput, sensitivity, and resolution of a wide variety of x-ray techniques. Specific examples of such challenges include: throughput in Talbot-Lau interferometry for medical applications, limits to sensitivity in micro x-ray fluorescence (microXRF), and resolution in x-ray microscopy.
We will present our patented x-ray source technology and recent developments. The major innovations in our x-ray source are the x-ray anodes, which are comprised of arrays of microstructured metal x-ray emitters embedded within a diamond substrate. The diamond substrate enables highly localized large thermal gradients that passively and rapidly cool the metal microstructures as heat is generated under the bombardment of electrons. Electron power densities, 4X higher than conventional solid metal targets can be achieved on the target even greater for metals of lower thermal conductivity. The thermal advantages of the anode design enables the use of many elements that were previously unsuitable as x-ray source materials, and will enable access to new x-ray characteristic lines to optimize performance in monochromatic x-ray analysis.
In addition, we will review practical benefits of our patented FAASTTM (fine array anode source technology) x-ray source over both conventional x-ray sources and newer schemes such as liquid metal anodes2. Advantages include the ability to produce a patterned microbeam optimized for Talbot-Lau interferometry (phase contrast imaging) and the ability to produce various characteristic lines through the incorporation of novel materials (e.g. Au, Pt, Cr) for dual energy capabilities.