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Novel X-Ray Imaging Systems Enabled by Nanofabrication

X-ray imaging accounts for the majority of medical diagnostic procedures in the United States. Rapidly increasing utilization of x-ray imaging, especially computed tomography (CT), has led to major concerns about the population radiation dose. Enhancing the sensitivity of x-ray imaging systems results in a proportional reduction of the radiation dose, which has attracted a great deal of attention. This talk presents our recent development of an ultra-sensitive x-ray interferometric imaging system enabled by nanofabrication. The development of cost-effective processes to fabricate deep submicron period hard x-ray diffraction gratings will be described. Then special focus will be given to the invention of an x-ray polychromatic far-field interferometer with the fabricated gratings, where preliminary experiments demonstrated more than an order of magnitude improvement of the sensitivity compared to the state-of-the-art grating-based interferometry technique. Potential application of the far-field interferometer in digital mammography will be discussed. A universal moiré effect to explain the physics of the polychromatic far-field interferometer and the application of this fundamental optical effect in neutron imaging will be presented.

Houxun Miao

National Institutes of Health

Houxun Miao is currently a staff scientist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). He received his B. S. in Mechanical Engineering and M. S. in Optical Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2002 and 2004, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University in 2008. Prior to joining NIH in 2012, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His research interests include nanofabrication enabled novel x-ray imaging systems, optical MEMS/NEMS, nanophotonics, ultrafast optics and optical communications.

Created March 8, 2017, Updated October 1, 2018