Signal-to-noise and radiation exposure considerations in conventional and diffraction x-ray microscopy

Xiaojing Huang*, Huijie Miao, Jan Steinbrener, Johanna Nelson, David Shapiro, Andrew Stewart, Joshua Turner, Chris Jacobsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Using a signal-to-noise ratio estimation based on correlations between multiple simulated images, we compare the dose efficiency of two soft x-ray imaging systems: incoherent brightfield imaging using zone plate optics in a transmission x-ray microscope (TXM), and x-ray diffraction microscopy (XDM) where an image is reconstructed from the far-field coherent diffraction pattern. In XDM one must computationally phase weak diffraction signals; in TXM one suffers signal losses due to the finite numerical aperture and efficiency of the optics. In simulations with objects representing isolated cells such as yeast, we find that XDM has the potential for delivering equivalent resolution images using fewer photons. This can be an important advantage for studying radiation-sensitive biological and soft matter specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13541-13553
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 3 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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