Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Physics

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 150 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Carolyn MacDonald

Committee Members

Ariel Caticha, John Kimball, Kevin Knuth, Danhong Li


Computer, Optics, Polycapillary, Simulation, X-ray optics, X-ray astronomy

Subject Categories

Optics | Physics


Simulation of x-ray optical systems is an important tool for optics design for known applications, and optic development for potential applications. Polycapillary optics are thin glass cylinders containing hundreds of thousands of hollow channels that transmit x rays using total external reflection. These optics have been developed for many applications, from beam filtering to x-ray collimating or focusing. A Monte Carlo based ray-tracing simulation was developed to model a wide range of polycapillary optic geometries. The simulation uses a vector-based approach to model all photons and optical geometries in three dimensions. Simulation verification was performed for a wide range of optical geometries, x-ray source configurations and photon energies and included comparison with both theoretical modeling and experimental results. Good agreement to experimental data was found using only a small amount of free fitting parameters. Glass defects including roughness and surface tilt (waviness) have been incorporated into the simulation and shown to reduce throughput especially at higher energies.

Included in

Optics Commons