Shielded radiography with a laser-driven MeV-energy X-ray source

Shouyuan Chen, Grigory Golovin, Cameron Miller, Daniel Haden, Sudeep Banerjee, Ping Zhang, Cheng Liu, Jun Zhang, Baozhen Zhao, Shaun Clarke, Sara Pozzi, Donald Umstadter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We report the results of experimental and numerical-simulation studies of shielded radiography using narrowband MeV-energy X-rays from a compact all-laser-driven inverse-Compton-scattering X-ray light source. This recently developed X-ray light source is based on a laser-wakefield accelerator with ultra-high-field gradient (GeV/cm). We demonstrate experimentally high-quality radiographic imaging (image contrast of 0.4 and signal-to-noise ratio of 2:1) of a target composed of 8-mm thick depleted uranium shielded by 80-mm thick steel, using a 6-MeV X-ray beam with a spread of 45% (FWHM) and 107 photons in a single shot. The corresponding dose of the X-ray pulse measured in front of the target is ∼100 nGy/pulse. Simulations performed using the Monte-Carlo code MCNPX accurately reproduce the experimental results. These simulations also demonstrate that the narrow bandwidth of the Compton X-ray source operating at 6 and 9 MeV leads to a reduction of deposited dose as compared to broadband bremsstrahlung sources with the same end-point energy. The X-ray beam's inherently low-divergence angle (∼mrad) is advantageous and effective for interrogation at standoff distance. These results demonstrate significant benefits of all-laser driven Compton X-rays for shielded radiography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Inverse Compton
  • Laser
  • Monte Car
  • Radiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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