Micro-CT scanners find applications in many areas ranging from biomedical research to material sciences. In order to provide spatial resolution on a micron scale, these scanners are usually equipped with micro-focus, low-power x-ray sources and hence require long scanning times to produce high resolution 3D images of the object with acceptable contrast-to-noise. Propagation-based phase-contrast tomography (PB-PCT) has the potential to significantly improve the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) or, alternatively, reduce the image acquisition time while preserving the CNR and the spatial resolution. We propose a general approach for the optimisation of the PB-PCT imaging system. When applied to an imaging system with fixed parameters of the source and detector this approach requires optimisation of only two independent geometrical parameters of the imaging system, i.e. the source-to-object distance R 1 and geometrical magnification M, in order to produce the best spatial resolution and CNR. If, in addition to R 1 and M, the system parameter space also includes the source size and the anode potential this approach allows one to find a unique configuration of the imaging system that produces the required spatial resolution and the best CNR.
- x-ray imaging
- x-ray phase contrast