16 September 2016 A case for ZnO nanowire field emitter arrays in advanced x-ray source applications
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Abstract
Reviewing current efforts in X-ray source miniaturization reveals a broad spectrum of applications: Portable and/or remote nondestructive evaluation, high throughput protein crystallography, invasive radiotherapy, monitoring fluid flow and particulate generation in situ, and portable radiography devices for battle-front or large scale disaster triage scenarios. For the most part, all of these applications are being addressed with a top-down approach aimed at improving portability, weight and size. That is, the existing system or a critical sub-component is shrunk in some manner in order to miniaturize the overall package. In parallel to top-down x-ray source miniaturization, more recent efforts leverage field emission and semiconductor device fabrication techniques to achieve small scale x-ray sources via a bottom-up approach where phenomena effective at a micro/nanoscale are coordinated for macro-scale effect. The bottom-up approach holds potential to address all the applications previously mentioned but its entitlement extends into new applications with much more ground-breaking potential. One such bottom-up application is the distributed x-ray source platform. In the medical space, using an array of microscale x-ray sources instead of a single source promises significant reductions in patient dose as well as smaller feature detectability and fewer image artifacts. Cold cathode field emitters are ideal for this application because they can be gated electrostatically or via photonic excitation, they do not generate excessive heat like other common electron emitters, they have higher brightness and they are relatively compact. This document describes how ZnO nanowire field emitter arrays are well suited for distributed x-ray source applications because they hold promise in each of the following critical areas: emission stability, simple scalable fabrication, performance, radiation resistance and photonic coupling.
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Vance S. Robinson, Vance S. Robinson, Magnus Bergkvist, Magnus Bergkvist, Daokun Chen, Daokun Chen, Jun Chen, Jun Chen, Mengbing Huang, Mengbing Huang, } "A case for ZnO nanowire field emitter arrays in advanced x-ray source applications", Proc. SPIE 9964, Advances in Laboratory-based X-Ray Sources, Optics, and Applications V, 996408 (16 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2238978; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238978
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