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Advanced X-ray source based on field emitting Carbon Nanotubes cold cathode (AXIS)
Start date: Sep 1, 2008, End date: Feb 28, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The project develops an innovative x-ray source based on the emerging technology of field emitting carbon nanotubes (CNT). This kind of source has several advantages with respect to traditional sources: higher intrinsic brilliance; possibility to work in pulsed and continuous mode; higher peak power; minor power consumption; modularity of beam size; good stability and longer life time. These sources are also more compact and robust, therefore suitable to be portable. The R&D activity is based on four major blocks: i) development of the cathode made of a well aligned CNT array, capable of delivering high current electron density in continuous and pulsed mode; ii) fabrication of a CNT-based electron gun which combines the CNT cathode with electron focusing optics; iii) integration of the e-gun in x-ray sources, and fabrication of an x-ray microfocusing source with characteristics of high brilliance, continuous and pulsed operation modes, easy control of beam size and power; iv) integration of the microfocusing source in two x-ray systems devoted to specific applications: a tomographic system for biomedical applications and an advanced system for material metrology applications. The implementation of phase contrast imaging methodology with this innovative source will be studied. The project will strongly enhance the competitiveness of the SME’s involved in the project. The potential exploitation goes far beyond the examples addressed in the project: X-ray sources are routinely used in medical radiography, in security, in industrial quality control, in advanced research, in environmental issues and in cultural heritage. The availability of innovative sources with improved features with respect to the standard ones will have a great impact not only on Europe competitiveness in this field but also on societal aspects such as health, security, product quality, sustainability."
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