Abstract

This work demonstrates the use of a scientific-CMOS (sCMOS) energy-integrating detector as a photon-counting detector, thereby eliminating dark current and read-out noise issues, that simultaneously provides both energy resolution and sub-pixel spatial resolution for X-ray imaging. These capabilities are obtained by analyzing visible light photon clouds that result when X-ray photons produce fluorescence from a scintillator in front of the visible light sensor. Using low-fluence monochromatic X-ray projections to avoid overlapping photon clouds, the centroid of individual X-ray photon interactions was identified. This enabled a tripling of the spatial resolution of the detector to 6.71 ± 0.04 µm. By calculating the total charge deposited by this interaction, an energy resolution of 61.2 ± 0.1% at 17 keV was obtained. When combined with propagation-based phase contrast imaging and phase retrieval, a signal-to-noise ratio of up to 15 ± 3 was achieved for an X-ray fluence of less than 3 photons/mm2.

© 2020 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement

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2019 (1)

D. A. Thompson, Y. I. Nesterets, K. M. Pavlov, and T. E. Gureyev, “Fast three-dimensional phase retrieval in propagation-based x-ray tomography,” J. Synchrotron Radiat. 26(3), 825–838 (2019).
[Crossref]

2018 (2)

L. C. P. Croton, K. S. Morgan, D. M. Paganin, L. T. Kerr, M. J. Wallace, K. J. Crossley, S. L. Miller, N. Yagi, K. Uesugi, S. B. Hooper, and M. J. Kitchen, “In situ phase contrast X-ray brain CT,” Sci. Rep. 8(1), 11412 (2018).
[Crossref]

R. Symons, D. S. Reich, M. Bagheri, T. E. Cork, B. Krauss, S. Ulzheimer, S. Kappler, D. A. Bluemke, and A. Pourmorteza, “Photon-Counting Computed Tomography for Vascular Imaging of the Head and Neck: First In Vivo Human Results,” Invest. Radiol. 53(3), 135–142 (2018).
[Crossref]

2017 (3)

M. J. Kitchen, G. A. Buckley, T. E. Gureyev, M. J. Wallace, N. Andres-Thio, K. Uesugi, N. Yagi, and S. B. Hooper, “CT dose reduction factors in the thousands using X-ray phase contrast,” Sci. Rep. 7(1), 15953 (2017).
[Crossref]

T. E. Gureyev, Y. I. Nesterets, A. Kozlov, D. M. Paganin, and H. M. Quiney, “On the ‘unreasonable’ effectiveness of transport of intensity imaging and optical deconvolution,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 34(12), 2251–2260 (2017).
[Crossref]

K. Uesugi, M. Hoshino, and A. Takeuchi, “Introducing high efficiency image detector to x-ray imaging tomography,” J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 849, 012051 (2017).
[Crossref]

2016 (4)

P. Lecoq, “Development of new scintillators for medical applications,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. A 809, 130–139 (2016).
[Crossref]

S. Cartier, M. Kagias, A. Bergamaschi, Z. Wang, R. Dinapoli, A. Mozzanica, M. Ramilli, B. Schmitt, M. Brückner, E. Fröjdh, D. Greiffenberg, D. Mayilyan, D. Mezza, S. Redford, C. Ruder, L. Schädler, X. Shi, D. Thattil, G. Tinti, J. Zhang, and M. Stampanoni, “Micrometer-resolution imaging using MÖNCH: towards G2-less grating interferometry,” J. Synchrotron Radiat. 23(6), 1462–1473 (2016).
[Crossref]

R. Gutjahr, A. F. Halaweish, Z. Yu, S. Leng, L. Yu, Z. Li, S. M. Jorgensen, E. L. Ritman, S. Kappler, and C. H. McCollough, “Human Imaging With Photon Counting-Based Computed Tomography at Clinical Dose Levels: Contrast-to-Noise Ratio and Cadaver Studies,” Invest. Radiol. 51(7), 421–429 (2016).
[Crossref]

A. Pourmorteza, R. Symons, V. Sandfort, M. Mallek, M. K. Fuld, G. Henderson, E. C. Jones, A. A. Malayeri, L. R. Folio, and D. A. Bluemke, “Abdominal Imaging with Contrast-enhanced Photon-counting CT: First Human Experience,” Radiology 279(1), 239–245 (2016).
[Crossref]

2015 (2)

D. R. Whelan and T. D. M. Bell, “Super-Resolution Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy: Tricks of the Trade,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6(3), 374–382 (2015).
[Crossref]

D. Sage, H. Kirshner, T. Pengo, N. Stuurman, J. Min, S. Manley, and M. Unser, “Quantitative evaluation of software packages for single-molecule localization microscopy,” Nat. Methods 12(8), 717–724 (2015).
[Crossref]

2014 (2)

C. Wunderer, A. Marras, M. Bayer, L. Glaser, P. Göttlicher, S. Lange, F. Pithan, F. Scholz, J. Seltmann, I. Shevyakov, S. Smoljanin, J. Viefhaus, M. Viti, Q. Xia, M. Zimmer, S. Klumpp, P. Gasiorek, N. Guerrini, B. Marsh, I. Sedgwick, R. Turchetta, G. Cautero, S. Farina, D. Giuressi, R. Menk, L. Stebel, H. Yousef, J. Marchal, T. Nicholls, N. Tartoni, and H. Graafsma, “The PERCIVAL soft x-ray imager,” J. Instrum. 9(03), C03056 (2014).
[Crossref]

T. E. Gureyev, Y. I. Nesterets, F. De Hoog, G. Schmalz, S. C. Mayo, S. Mohammadi, and G. Tromba, “Duality between noise and spatial resolution in linear systems,” Opt. Express 22(8), 9087–9094 (2014).
[Crossref]

2013 (1)

K. Taguchi and J. S. Iwanczyk, “Vision 20/20: Single photon counting x-ray detectors in medical imaging: Vision 20/20: Photon counting detectors,” Med. Phys. 40(10), 100901 (2013).
[Crossref]

2011 (2)

K. Uesugi, M. Hoshino, and N. Yagi, “Comparison of lens- and fiber-coupled CCD detectors for X-ray computed tomography,” J. Synchrotron Radiat. 18(2), 217–223 (2011).
[Crossref]

M. A. Beltran, D. M. Paganin, K. K. W. Siu, A. Fouras, S. B. Hooper, D. H. Reser, and M. J. Kitchen, “Interface-specific x-ray phase retrieval tomography of complex biological organs,” Phys. Med. Biol. 56(23), 7353–7369 (2011).
[Crossref]

2010 (1)

2008 (1)

W. W. Moses, S. A. Payne, W. Choong, G. Hull, and B. W. Reutter, “Scintillator Non-Proportionality: Present Understanding and Future Challenges,” IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci. 55(3), 1049–1053 (2008).
[Crossref]

2006 (2)

M. Nikl, “Scintillation detectors for x-rays,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 17(4), R37–R54 (2006).
[Crossref]

E. Miyata, N. Tawa, K. Mukai, H. Tsunemi, and K. Miyaguchi, “High resolution X-ray photon-counting detector with scintillator-deposited charge-coupled device,” IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci 53(2), 576–583 (2006).
[Crossref]

2005 (1)

H. Wang and J. Zhou, “Numerical conversion between the Pearson VII and pseudo-Voigt functions,” J. Appl. Cryst. 38(5), 830–832 (2005).
[Crossref]

2003 (1)

M. S. Robbins and B. J. Hadwen, “The noise performance of electron multiplying charge-coupled devices,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices 50(5), 1227–1232 (2003).
[Crossref]

2002 (2)

D. Paganin, S. C. Mayo, T. E. Gureyev, P. R. Miller, and S. W. Wilkins, “Simultaneous phase and amplitude extraction from a single defocused image of a homogeneous object,” J. Microsc. 206(1), 33–40 (2002).
[Crossref]

S. C. Mayo, P. R. Miller, S. W. Wilkins, T. J. Davis, D. Gao, T. E. Gureyev, D. M. Paganin, D. J. Parry, and A. W. Stevenson, “Quantitative X-ray Projection Microscopy: Phase-Contrast and Multi-spectral imaging,” J. Microsc. 207(2), 79–96 (2002).
[Crossref]

2001 (1)

T. E. Gureyev, S. Mayo, S. W. Wilkins, D. Paganin, and A. W. Stevenson, “Quantitative In-Line Phase-Contrast Imaging with Multienergy X Rays,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 86(25), 5827–5830 (2001).
[Crossref]

1998 (1)

A. Sarvestani, H. Besch, M. Junk, N. Pavel, N. Sauer, R. Stiehler, A. Walenta, and R. Menk, “Gas amplifying hole structures with resistive position encoding: a new concept for a high rate imaging pixel detector,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. A 419(2-3), 444–451 (1998).
[Crossref]

1996 (1)

P. Cloetens, R. Barrett, J. Baruchel, J.-P. Guigay, and M. Schlenker, “Phase objects in synchrotron radiation hard x-ray imaging,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 29(1), 133–146 (1996).
[Crossref]

1995 (1)

C. T. Chantler, “Theoretical form factor, attenuation, and scattering tabulation for Z= 1–92 from E= 1–10 ev to E= 0.4–1.0 MeV,” J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data 24(1), 71–643 (1995).
[Crossref]

1994 (1)

N. M. Allinson, “Development of Non-Intensified Charge-Coupled Device Area X-ray Detectors,” J. Synchrotron Radiat. 1(1), 54–62 (1994).
[Crossref]

1989 (1)

R. M. Nishikawa, M. J. Yaffe, and R. B. Holmes, “Effect of finite phosphor thickness on detective quantum efficiency,” Med. Phys. 16(5), 773–780 (1989).
[Crossref]

1988 (1)

D. H. Lumb and A. D. Holland, “Event recognition techniques in CCD X-ray detectors for astronomy,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. A 273(2-3), 696–700 (1988).
[Crossref]

1983 (1)

Allinson, N. M.

N. M. Allinson, “Development of Non-Intensified Charge-Coupled Device Area X-ray Detectors,” J. Synchrotron Radiat. 1(1), 54–62 (1994).
[Crossref]

Andres-Thio, N.

M. J. Kitchen, G. A. Buckley, T. E. Gureyev, M. J. Wallace, N. Andres-Thio, K. Uesugi, N. Yagi, and S. B. Hooper, “CT dose reduction factors in the thousands using X-ray phase contrast,” Sci. Rep. 7(1), 15953 (2017).
[Crossref]

Archibald, A. M.

P. Virtanen, R. Gommers, T. E. Oliphant, M. Haberland, T. Reddy, D. Cournapeau, E. Burovski, P. Peterson, W. Weckesser, J. Bright, S. J. van der Walt, M. Brett, J. Wilson, K. Jarrod Millman, N. Mayorov, A. R. J. Nelson, E. Jones, R. Kern, E. Larson, C. Carey, İ. Polat, Y. Feng, E. W. Moore, J. VanderPlas, D. Laxalde, J. Perktold, R. Cimrman, I. Henriksen, E. A. Quintero, C. R. Harris, A. M. Archibald, A. H. Ribeiro, F. Pedregosa, and P. van Mulbregt, “SciPy 1.0–Fundamental Algorithms for Scientific Computing in Python,” arXiv e-prints arXiv:1907.10121 (2019).

Bagheri, M.

R. Symons, D. S. Reich, M. Bagheri, T. E. Cork, B. Krauss, S. Ulzheimer, S. Kappler, D. A. Bluemke, and A. Pourmorteza, “Photon-Counting Computed Tomography for Vascular Imaging of the Head and Neck: First In Vivo Human Results,” Invest. Radiol. 53(3), 135–142 (2018).
[Crossref]

Barrett, R.

P. Cloetens, R. Barrett, J. Baruchel, J.-P. Guigay, and M. Schlenker, “Phase objects in synchrotron radiation hard x-ray imaging,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 29(1), 133–146 (1996).
[Crossref]

Baruchel, J.

P. Cloetens, R. Barrett, J. Baruchel, J.-P. Guigay, and M. Schlenker, “Phase objects in synchrotron radiation hard x-ray imaging,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 29(1), 133–146 (1996).
[Crossref]

Bayer, M.

C. Wunderer, A. Marras, M. Bayer, L. Glaser, P. Göttlicher, S. Lange, F. Pithan, F. Scholz, J. Seltmann, I. Shevyakov, S. Smoljanin, J. Viefhaus, M. Viti, Q. Xia, M. Zimmer, S. Klumpp, P. Gasiorek, N. Guerrini, B. Marsh, I. Sedgwick, R. Turchetta, G. Cautero, S. Farina, D. Giuressi, R. Menk, L. Stebel, H. Yousef, J. Marchal, T. Nicholls, N. Tartoni, and H. Graafsma, “The PERCIVAL soft x-ray imager,” J. Instrum. 9(03), C03056 (2014).
[Crossref]

Bell, T. D. M.

D. R. Whelan and T. D. M. Bell, “Super-Resolution Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy: Tricks of the Trade,” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6(3), 374–382 (2015).
[Crossref]

Beltran, M. A.

M. A. Beltran, D. M. Paganin, K. K. W. Siu, A. Fouras, S. B. Hooper, D. H. Reser, and M. J. Kitchen, “Interface-specific x-ray phase retrieval tomography of complex biological organs,” Phys. Med. Biol. 56(23), 7353–7369 (2011).
[Crossref]

M. A. Beltran, D. M. Paganin, K. Uesugi, and M. J. Kitchen, “2D and 3D X-ray phase retrieval of multi-material objects using a single defocus distance,” Opt. Express 18(7), 6423–6436 (2010).
[Crossref]

Bergamaschi, A.

S. Cartier, M. Kagias, A. Bergamaschi, Z. Wang, R. Dinapoli, A. Mozzanica, M. Ramilli, B. Schmitt, M. Brückner, E. Fröjdh, D. Greiffenberg, D. Mayilyan, D. Mezza, S. Redford, C. Ruder, L. Schädler, X. Shi, D. Thattil, G. Tinti, J. Zhang, and M. Stampanoni, “Micrometer-resolution imaging using MÖNCH: towards G2-less grating interferometry,” J. Synchrotron Radiat. 23(6), 1462–1473 (2016).
[Crossref]

Besch, H.

A. Sarvestani, H. Besch, M. Junk, N. Pavel, N. Sauer, R. Stiehler, A. Walenta, and R. Menk, “Gas amplifying hole structures with resistive position encoding: a new concept for a high rate imaging pixel detector,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. A 419(2-3), 444–451 (1998).
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Bluemke, D. A.

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K. Desjardins, H. Popescu, P. Mercère, C. Menneglier, R. Gaudemer, K. Thånell, and N. Jaouen, “Characterization of a back-illuminated CMOS camera for soft x-ray coherent scattering,” in AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 2054 (AIP Publishing LLC, 2019), p. 060066.

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L. C. P. Croton, K. S. Morgan, D. M. Paganin, L. T. Kerr, M. J. Wallace, K. J. Crossley, S. L. Miller, N. Yagi, K. Uesugi, S. B. Hooper, and M. J. Kitchen, “In situ phase contrast X-ray brain CT,” Sci. Rep. 8(1), 11412 (2018).
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Quintero, E. A.

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C. Wunderer, A. Marras, M. Bayer, L. Glaser, P. Göttlicher, S. Lange, F. Pithan, F. Scholz, J. Seltmann, I. Shevyakov, S. Smoljanin, J. Viefhaus, M. Viti, Q. Xia, M. Zimmer, S. Klumpp, P. Gasiorek, N. Guerrini, B. Marsh, I. Sedgwick, R. Turchetta, G. Cautero, S. Farina, D. Giuressi, R. Menk, L. Stebel, H. Yousef, J. Marchal, T. Nicholls, N. Tartoni, and H. Graafsma, “The PERCIVAL soft x-ray imager,” J. Instrum. 9(03), C03056 (2014).
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S. Cartier, M. Kagias, A. Bergamaschi, Z. Wang, R. Dinapoli, A. Mozzanica, M. Ramilli, B. Schmitt, M. Brückner, E. Fröjdh, D. Greiffenberg, D. Mayilyan, D. Mezza, S. Redford, C. Ruder, L. Schädler, X. Shi, D. Thattil, G. Tinti, J. Zhang, and M. Stampanoni, “Micrometer-resolution imaging using MÖNCH: towards G2-less grating interferometry,” J. Synchrotron Radiat. 23(6), 1462–1473 (2016).
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Figures (7)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. Schematic of a position sensitive X-ray detector, including the light-conversion material coupled to a visible-light sensor (typically CCD or CMOS). Locations where detection efficiency is affected are labeled as: (a) $\def\upmu{\unicode[Times]{x00B5}}\eta _{\textrm {Conversion}}$ ; (b) $\eta _{\textrm {Coupling}}$ ; and (c) $\mathrm {Q}_{\textrm {Sensor}}$ (see text for definitions).
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. The main steps in the algorithm developed to localize X-ray interactions. Starting with an original image (a), a threshold of 10 counts is applied to form the binary image in (b). An open (erosion-dilation) operation is then applied giving (c), where smaller noise structures have been eliminated. Finally, (d) shows the localizations overlaid on the original image. Images were collected at an X-ray energy of 37 keV with an exposure time of 20 ms.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. Tungsten edge imaged at 37 keV in (a) energy-integrating mode and (b) photon-counting mode, reconstructed using the method outlined in Sec. 2.1, with the grid size the same as the original image ( $m=1$ ). (c) Photon-counting data with the grid size upsampled by $m=4$ . It can be seen that as the pixel size decreases, and the resolution increases, there are fewer photons per pixel so the relative photon noise increases. All image palettes are scaled individually for ease of viewing. Quantitative profiles are provided in Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. (a) Row-averaged edge-spread functions of the tungsten blade in Fig. 3. Energy-integrating image and photon-counting image reconstructions with axis magnification $m=1,2,3,4$ are shown. (b) Point-spread functions computed from (a). (c) FWHMs of point spread functions as a function of $m$ , as well as the energy-integrating image (EI) PSF. Error bars reduce in (c) as we increase the number of pixel ‘bins’ to deposit a count.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 5. Panels (a) and (b) show images of a PMMA rod from photon-counting $(m=1)$ and energy-integrating modes, respectively. The X-ray energy was 37 keV and the object-to-detector distance was 0.65 m. The aggregate X-ray photon-counting image fluence was $20.7 \pm 0.3$ photons/pixel, whilst that of the energy-integrating image was $19.2 \pm 0.2$ photons/pixel. The yellow boxes indicate the location of the line profiles in (c), where we observe phase contrast fringes at the edges of a PMMA rod, averaged over 140 pixel columns to reduce noise. The SNR versus the aggregate photons per pixel for each reconstruction is shown in (d) (PC) and (e) (EI), with the black curve indicating the expected Poisson curve for the given number of photons. This SNR was calculated for a region of air, indicated by the red boxes in (a) and (b).
Fig. 6.
Fig. 6. Panels (a) and (b) show the result of applying phase retrieval to propagation based phase contrast images of Fig. 5 using Eq. (9). (a) (PC) and (b) (EI). (c) Resultant SNR as a function of X-ray fluence for a region of PMMA (red boxes) after phase retrieval, for both photon-counting and energy-integrating images. (d) Factor by which SNR has increased upon using the phase retrieval algorithm of Paganin et al. [28], when compared to that without phase retrieval (SNR gain), as a function of X-ray fluence. Also shown is the average SNR gain for both PC and EI data.
Fig. 7.
Fig. 7. (a) Normalized $\textrm {ADC}_{\textrm {Total}}$ distributions for incident X-ray energies of $17,22,27$ and $32$ keV. (b) Energy resolutions given by Eq. (11), where lower values indicates better energy resolution. (c) Efficiency for each distribution. Exposure time for a single image was 20 ms. (d) Energy resolution as a function of exposure time for an X-ray energy of 37 keV. Error bars in (b) and (c) are smaller than the symbols.

Equations (11)

Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.

η Total ( E ) = η Stopping~power ( E )   η Conversion ( E )   η Coupling   Q Sensor .
η Conversion ( E ) N Photons E {g} E X-ray .
I = I 0 exp [ µ ( E ) d z ] .
k I ( x , y , z ) z = [ I ( x , y , z ) ϕ ( x , y , z ) ] ,
Accuracy = N Photons   found N Photons   found + N False   detections , Efficiency = N Photons   found N Photons   found + N Missed   photons .
I ( x , y ) = I 0 exp [ ( ( x x 0 ) 2 2 σ 2 + ( y y 0 ) 2 2 σ 2 ) ] .
σ Total 2 = σ Poisson 2 + σ Dark 2 + σ Read 2 .
S N R = µ Signal σ Total .
I ( x , y , z = 0 ) = F 1 [ F [ I ( x , y , z = z 0 ) / I 0 ] 1 + z 0 ( δ / µ ) ( k x 2 + k y 2 ) ] .
ADC ¯ Total = E X-ray η Total ( E ) .
Δ E E ¯ = Δ ADC Total ADC ¯ Total .

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