Tungsten anode spectral model using interpolating cubic splines: Unfiltered x-ray spectra from 20 kV to 640 kV




Monte Carlo methods were used to generate lightly filtered high resolution x-ray spectra spanning from 20 kV to 640 kV.


X-ray spectra were simulated for a conventional tungsten anode. The Monte Carlo N-Particle eXtended radiation transport code (MCNPX 2.6.0) was used to produce 35 spectra over the tube potential range from 20 kV to 640 kV, and cubic spline interpolation procedures were used to create piecewise polynomials characterizing the photon fluence per energy bin as a function of x-ray tube potential. Using these basis spectra and the cubic spline interpolation, 621 spectra were generated at 1 kV intervals from 20 to 640 kV. The tungsten anode spectral model using interpolating cubic splines (TASMICS) produces minimally filtered (0.8 mm Be) x-ray spectra with 1 keV energy resolution. The TASMICS spectra were compared mathematically with other, previously reported spectra.


Using pairedt-test analyses, no statistically significant difference (i.e., p > 0.05) was observed between compared spectra over energy bins above 1% of peak bremsstrahlung fluence. For all energy bins, the correlation of determination (R2) demonstrated good correlation for all spectral comparisons. The mean overall difference (MOD) and mean absolute difference (MAD) were computed over energy bins (above 1% of peak bremsstrahlung fluence) and over all the kV permutations compared. MOD and MAD comparisons with previously reported spectra were 2.7% and 9.7%, respectively (TASMIP), 0.1% and 12.0%, respectively [R. Birch and M. Marshall, “Computation of bremsstrahlung x-ray spectra and comparison with spectra measured with a Ge(Li) detector,” Phys. Med. Biol. 24, – (1979)], 0.4% and 8.1%, respectively (Poludniowski), and 0.4% and 8.1%, respectively (AAPM TG 195). The effective energy of TASMICS spectra with 2.5 mm of added Al filtration ranged from 17 keV (at 20 kV) to 138 keV (at 640 kV); with 0.2 mm of added Cu filtration the effective energy was 9 keV at 20 kV and 169 keV at 640 kV.


Ranging from 20 kV to 640 kV, 621 x-ray spectra were produced and are available at 1 kV tube potential intervals. The spectra are tabulated at 1 keV intervals. TASMICS spectra were shown to be largely equivalent to published spectral models and are available in spreadsheet format for interested users by emailing the corresponding author (JMB).