Modern Diagnostic X-Ray Sources: Technology, Manufacturing, Reliability, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Modern Diagnostic X-Ray Sources

Technology, Manufacturing, Reliability, 1st Edition

By Rolf Behling

CRC Press

423 pages | 13 Color Illus. | 275 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482241327
pub: 2015-06-26
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429194658
pub: 2015-06-26
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Modern Diagnostic X-ray Sources: Technology, Manufacturing, Reliability gives an up-to-date summary of X-ray source design for applications in modern diagnostic medical imaging. It lays a sound groundwork for education and advanced training in the physics of X-ray production and X-ray interactions with matter. The book begins with a historical overview of X-ray tube and generator development, including key achievements leading up to the current technological and economic state of the field.

The book covers the physics of X-ray generation, including the process of constructing X-ray source devices. The stand-alone chapters can be read continuously or in selections. They take you inside diagnostic X-ray tubes, illustrating their design, functions, metrics for validation, and interfaces. The detailed descriptions enable objective comparison and benchmarking.

This detailed presentation of X-ray tube creation and functions enables you to understand how to optimize tube efficiency, particularly with consideration for economics and the environment. It also simplifies fault finding. Along with covering the past and current state of the field, the book assesses the future regarding developing new X-ray sources that can enhance performance and yield greater benefits to the scientific community and to the public.


"The author has produced a unique reference about medical X-ray imaging technologies. Designers and technologists who are actively involved in designing the forthcoming generations of medical X-ray systems could benefit from this book."

—Axel Mainzer Koenig, CEO, 21st Century Data Analysis, in The Optical Society

"This unique book provides fascinating and useful tours of some of the many worlds supporting a single high-value technology product. Stakeholders in the use of x-rays in medicine will find complete chapters on topics, including history, basic x-ray physics, imaging, tube design, manufacturing, alternative technologies, and economics. The chapters covering basics contain comprehensive reviews provided in a readable style. The ‘industrial’ chapters provide equally readable access behind the curtains describing much of what it takes to deliver an x-ray tube to a hospital. Much of this information is impossible to find elsewhere. A comprehensive demonstration of the interlocking of fundamental science, engineering, and industrial processes … recommended to all those interested in how things work."

—Stephen Balter, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Radiology, Columbia University Medical Center

"Rolf Behling, based on his long and deep technical and industrial experience in this field, is a true heir of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen and C.H.F. Müller and is a perfect author for writing this exciting story. I can recommend this book not only to specialists but also to the interested general reading public … I am sure this book will be a success!"

—Georg Gärtner, Southeast University Nanjing

"… very valuable for engineers and physicists."

—Professor Dr. Peter Schreiber

"…very comprehensive…. The author provides insight into state-of-the-art and future medical applications."

—Dr. Jens-Peter Schlomka, Morpho Detection Germany GmbH

"This book is a state-of-the-art, comprehensive journey into the world of medical X-ray. It handsomely bridges the history, the technical generation, and the use, as well as gives a technical outlook from the perspective of a very accomplished developer of X-ray components and systems."

—Dr. Stephan E.L. Haferl, Industrial X-ray Technologies (IXT)

"…an accurate and comprehensive overview of the technology and physics behind today’s X-ray sources. If you work in the field of medical X-ray imaging, I highly recommend you read this book, and you will likely keep it on your desk for reference."

—Mats Danielsson, Professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

"This book fills a significant gap. There has been a great need for a single work that thoroughly covers the physics and engineering of medical X-ray sources."

—Norbert J. Pelc, Professor of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine

"I am pleased to endorse Rolf’s detailed description of X-ray technological innovations that have driven X-ray source design, performance, and reliability for more than 125 years."

—Clarence O. Clark

"… a definitive book covering all relevant aspects of X-ray sources for medical imaging. It contains a comprehensive discussion of the history, developments, and trends in relation to the requirements of medical imaging systems, and goes deep into the physics and technology."

—Roland Proksa, Philips Research Laboratories

Table of Contents





Historical Introduction and Survey

The Discovery in Fall 1895

The Early Days of X-rays

Major Steps of Progress


Physics of Generation of Bremsstrahlung

Acceleration of Electrons

Efficiency of Energy Conversion

The X-ray Continuum Spectrum

Characteristic Radiation

Characteristic Radiation and Discontinuous Attenuation

Theory of the Angular Distribution of the Continuum Radiation

Angular Distribution of Characteristic Radiation


Theory of Electron Scatter in the Anode

Electron Backscatter

The Thomson-Whiddington Law in More Detail

Measured and Simulated Isotropic X-ray Intensity Distribution

The Heel Effect


The Interaction of X-rays with Matter

Basics of the Attenuation of X-rays

X-ray Refraction and X-ray Lenses

Thomson Scattering

Rayleigh Scattering

Compton Scattering

Photoelectric Absorption


More Background on Medical Imaging

Non-X-ray Methods

X-ray Imaging

Spectral Imaging

Phase-Contrast Imaging

Fluorescence Imaging

Polarized X-rays


Imaging Modalities and Challenges

Computed Tomography

Cardio and Vascular Imaging

Radiographic Systems

Radiography/Fluoroscopy (R/F) Systems

Mammography Systems

Surgical C-Arm Systems with Monoblocks


Diagnostic X-ray Sources from the Inside

Working Principle and Types of Medical X-ray Tubes

Tube Components in Detail

The Tube Frame

Maintaining Vacuum

Vacuum Discharges and High-Voltage Stability


Housings, System Interfacing, and Auxiliary Equipment

X-ray Source Assembly

Radiation Shield

Beam Quality

Beam Limitation

Protection Against Implosion and Explosion



The Source of Power

Basic Functionality of the X-ray Generator

High-Voltage Chain

Sensing Tube Voltage and Current

Energy Quantization

Voltage Ripple

Dual-Energy (Dual X-ray Color) Imaging

Filament Heating and Emission Control

Grid and Electrostatic Deflection Supply

Multiple Tubes

Other Auxiliary Supplies

Tube Temperature Supervision

Dose Control

Matching Generator and Tube



Manufacturing, Service, and Tube Replacement

Manufacturing of X-ray Tubes

Process-Oriented versus Assembly-Oriented Production

Production Yield

Installation and Service

Tube Replacement and Recycling



X-ray Source Development for Medical Imaging

Application Trends for the Development of Medical X-ray Sources

Developments Which Did Not (Yet?) Make it to the Marketplace

Candidates for Next-Generation Bremsstrahlung Sources

Dream and Reality: Deficits of Bremsstrahlung Sources

Nonbremsstrahlung Sources of X-rays for Imaging

Industrial Development of Novel X-ray Sources



About the Author

Rolf Behling holds a diploma in physics from the University of Hamburg, Germany. During more than 30 years in the medical industry he has held many positions, including department head of tube technology development, global project coordination manager, global innovation manager, head of marketing and field support for X-ray tubes, department head for X-ray tube development, project manager, and process physicist. The first spiral-groove-bearing X-ray tube was developed under his leadership. He currently heads the Philips Group for Advanced Development of X-ray Tubes and X-ray Generators at Philips HealthTech in Hamburg. He is a part-time lecturer at the University of Hamburg and has written numerous patents and publications in vacuum technology and medical imaging.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics