Recent advances in cadmium telluride (CdTe) energy-discriminating pixelated detectors have enabled the possibility of Multi-Spectral X-ray Computed Tomography (MSXCT) to incorporate spectroscopic information into CT. MultiX ME 100 V2 is a CdTe-based spectroscopic x-ray detector array capable of recording energies from 20 to 160 keV in 1.1 keV energy bin increments. Hardware and software have been designed to perform radiographic and computed tomography tasks with this spectroscopic detector. Energy calibration is examined using the end-point energy of a bremsstrahlung spectrum and radioisotope spectral lines. When measuring the spectrum from Am-241 across 500 detector elements, the standard deviation of the peak-location and FWHM measurements are ± 0.4 and ± 0.6 keV, respectively. As these values are within the energy bin size (1.1 keV), detector elements are consistent with each other. The count rate is characterized, using a nonparalyzable model with a dead time of 64 ± 5 ns. This is consistent with the manufacturer’s quoted per detector-element linear-deviation at 2 Mpps (million photons per sec) of 8.9 % (typical) and 12 % (max). When comparing measured and simulated spectra, a low-energy tail is visible in the measured data due to the spectral response of the detector. If no valid photon detections are expected in the low-energy tail, then a background subtraction may be applied to allow for a possible first-order correction. If photons are expected in the low-energy tail, a detailed model must be implemented. A radiograph of an aluminum step wedge with a maximum height of 20 mm shows an underestimation of attenuation by about 10 % at 60 keV. This error is due to partial energy deposition from higher energy (>60 keV) photons into a lower-energy (∼60 keV) bin, reducing the apparent attenuation. A radiograph of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) cylinder taken using a bremsstrahlung spectrum from an x-ray voltage of 100 kV filtered by 1.3 mm Cu is reconstructed using Abel inversion. As no counts are expected in the low energy tail, a first order background correction is applied to the spectrum. The measured linear attenuation coefficient (LAC) is within 10% of the expected value in the 60 to 100 keV range. Below 60 keV, low counts in the corrected spectrum and partial energy deposition from incident photons of energy greater than 60 keV into energy bins below 60 keV impact the LAC measurements. This report ends with a demonstration of the tomographic capability of the system. The quantitative understanding of the detector developed in this report will enable further study in evaluating the system for characterization of an object’s chemical make-up for industrial and security purposes.
In a recent journal article [IEEE Trans. Nuc. Sci., 63(1), 341-350, 2016], we introduced a novel method that decomposes dual-energy X-ray CT (DECT) data into electron density (ρe) and a new effective-atomic-number called Ze in pursuit of system-independent characterization of materials. The Ze of a material, unlike the traditional Zeff, is defined relative to the actual X-ray absorption properties of the constituent atoms in the material, which are based on published X-ray cross sections. Our DECT method, called SIRZ (System-Independent ρe, Ze), uses a set of well-known reference materials and an understanding of the system spectral response to produce accurate and precise estimates of the X-ray-relevant basis variables (ρe, Ze) regardless of scanner or spectra in diagnostic energy ranges (30 to 200 keV). Potentially, SIRZ can account for and correct spectral changes in a scanner over time and, because the system spectral response is included in the technique, additional beam-hardening correction is not needed. Results show accuracy (<3%) and precision (<2%) values that are much better than prior methods on a wide range of spectra. In this paper, we will describe how to convert DECT system output into (ρe, Ze) features and we present our latest SIRZ results compared with ground truth for a set of materials.