Spatial Resolution of an Inorganic Crystal-Based Hard X-Ray Imager
Gigahertz hard X-ray imaging presents an unprecedented challenge to both timing and spatial resolutions for inorganic scintillator-based front imagers. A beam test with 30-keV X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source (APS) showed that 5-mm BaF₂ plates resolve well 30-keV X-ray septuplets of 27-ps width and 2.83-ns spacing. Pixelated crystal screens with a pitch down to 400 μm were fabricated by mechanic slicing for BaF₂, BaF₂:Y, and LYSO crystals. Their spatial resolution and detection efficiency for hard X-rays are defined by the pitch and thickness, respectively. Thicker monolithic crystal screens show poorer spatial resolution, which may be improved using a small optical aperture with a loss in both efficiency and dynamic range for hard X-rays. Future plans include pursuing smaller crystal pitches by laser slicing and research and development on novel ultrafast inorganic scintillators.