Abstract

Near-field x-ray refraction (phase) contrast is unavoidable in many lab-based micro-CT imaging systems. Quantitative analysis of x-ray refraction (a.k.a. phase retrieval) is in general an under-constrained problem. Regularizing assumptions may not hold true for interesting samples; popular single-material methods are inappropriate for heterogeneous samples, leading to undesired blurring and/or over-sharpening. In this paper, we constrain and solve the phase-retrieval problem for heterogeneous objects, using the Alvarez–Macovski model for x-ray attenuation. Under this assumption we neglect Rayleigh scattering and pair production, considering only Compton scattering and the photoelectric effect. We formulate and test the resulting method to extract the material properties of density and atomic number from single-distance, dual-energy imaging of both strongly and weakly attenuating multi-material objects with polychromatic x-ray spectra. Simulation and experimental data are used to compare our proposed method with the Paganin single-material phase-retrieval algorithm, and an innovative interpretation of the data-constrained modeling phase-retrieval technique.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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