Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Physics

Content Description

1 online resource (xi, 80 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Carolyn MacDonald

Committee Members

Ariel Caticha, Jonathan Petruccelli, Alexander Khmaladze, Danghong Li


X-ray optics, Phase-contrast microscopy, Contrast media (Diagnostic imaging), Diagnostic imaging

Subject Categories

Health and Physical Education | Optics | Physics


Conventional x-ray imaging is a widely used imaging technique in medical diagnostics as well as material analysis. It utilizes only absorption-contrast imaging, which records intensity attenuation due to absorption. A major limitation of this technique for medical imaging is the poor contrast of weakly absorbing details in the soft tissue. Mammography and angiography are two examples where improved contrast is required. In the quest for better contrast in x-ray imaging, a number of different phase contrast imaging techniques have been explored. Phase contrast imaging offers an improvement over traditional absorption contrast because the x-ray wave field traversing an object experiences a relatively large phase shift related to the object complex index of refraction. By exploiting this phase shift, high contrast for soft tissue structures can be achieved. In this work we focus on the propagation-based phase contrast x-ray imaging.