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Opt Express. 2012 Jan 30;20(3):2789-805. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.002789.

Theoretical comparison of three X-ray phase-contrast imaging techniques: propagation-based imaging, analyzer-based imaging and grating interferometry.

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Faculty of Physics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munchen, 85748 Garching, Germany.


Various X-ray phase-contrast imaging techniques have been developed and applied over the last twenty years in different domains, such as material sciences, biology and medicine. However, no comprehensive inter-comparison exists in the literature. We present here a theoretical study that compares three among the most used techniques: propagation-based imaging (PBI), analyzer-based imaging (ABI) and grating interferometry (GI). These techniques are evaluated in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, figure of merit and spatial resolution. Both area and edge signals are considered. Dependences upon the object properties (absorption, phase shift) and the experimental acquisition parameters (energy, system point-spread function etc.) are derived and discussed. The results obtained from this analysis can be used as the reference for determining the most suitable technique for a given application.

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