Beam hardening effects in grating-based x-ray phase-contrast imaging




In this work, the authors investigate how beam hardening affects the image formation in x-ray phase-contrast imaging and consecutively develop a correction algorithm based on the results of the analysis.


The authors’ approach utilizes a recently developed x-ray imaging technique using a grating interferometer capable of visualizing the differential phase shift of a wave front traversing an object. An analytical description of beam hardening is given, highlighting differences between attenuation and phase-contrast imaging. The authors present exemplary beam hardening artifacts for a number of well-defined samples in measurements at a compact laboratory setup using a polychromatic source.


Despite the differences in image formation, the authors show that beam hardening leads to a similar reduction of image quality in phase-contrast imaging as in conventional attenuation-contrast imaging. Additionally, the authors demonstrate that for homogeneous objects, beam hardening artifacts can be corrected by a linearization technique, applicable to all kinds of phase-contrast methods using polychromatic sources.


The evaluated correction algorithm is shown to yield good results for a number of simple test objects and can thus be advocated in medical imaging and nondestructive testing.