TU-F-18A-05: An X-Ray Fluorescence Technique for Energy Calibration of Photon-Counting Detectors




To investigate the feasibility of energy response calibration of a Si strip photon-counting detector by using the x-ray fluorescence technique.


X-ray fluorescence was generated by using a pencil beam from a tungsten anode x-ray tube with 2 mm Al filtration. Spectra were acquired at 90° from the primary beam direction with an energy-resolved photon-counting detector based on Si strips. The distances from the source to target and the target to detector were approximately 19 and 11 cm, respectively. Four different materials, containing Ag, I, Ba, and Gd, were placed in small plastic aliquots with a diameter of approximately 0.7 cm for x-ray fluorescence measurements. Linear regression analysis was performed to derive the gain and offset values for the correlation between the measured fluorescence peak center and the known energies for materials. The energy resolution was derived from the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the fluorescence peaks. In addition, the angular dependence of the recorded fluorescence spectra was studied at 30°, 60°, and 120°.


Strong fluorescence signals of all four target materials were recorded with the investigated geometry for the Si strip detector. The recorded pulse height was calibrated with respect to photon energy and the gain and offset values were calculated to be 7.0 mV/keV and −69.3 mV, respectively. Negligible variation in energy calibration was observed among the four energy thresholds. The variation among different pixels was estimated to be approximately 1 keV. The energy resolution of the detector was estimated to be 7.9% within the investigated energy range.


The performance of a spectral imaging system using energy-resolved photon-counting detectors is very dependent on the energy calibration of the detector. The proposed x-ray fluorescence technique provides an accurate and efficient way to calibrate the energy response of a photon-counting detector.