Published on 20 April 2023


Energy dispersive X-ray diffraction to identify tissues

The EDXRD technique exploits the Bragg law by fixing the diffraction angle (< 5°) and by scanning the energy range with a polychromatic spectrum and an energy resolved detector.

  • EDXRD systems can use powerful conventional X-ray tubes and commercial multi-pixelated detectors to inspect a 2D plan of an object in one shot.

  • Diffraction provides very specific material signature, reflecting the molecular and atomic structure of inspected materials (solids and liquids) not available with conventional X-ray scanning.

What's new?

  • New detector technology based on room temperature semiconductor crystal (CdTe/CZT) combined with optimized low noise front-end electronics to provide high energy resolved EDXRD spectra.

  • Simulation package DERiX-lab, capable of modeling the whole diffraction chain (including geometry, collimators, detectors, diffraction physics) to dimension any new EDXRD system.

  • Specific detector-level and spectrometric material discrimination processing methods (algorithms) to provide the signature of each material with the best accuracy.

  • Experimental EDXRD lab bench, with flexible geometry (collimation, angle, distances).

What’s next?

  • Medical: test with real biological tissues

  • Counterfeit: test of drug counterfeit in real settings with customs services

  • Security: enhance sensitivity with a more open spiral


• Medical: precise diagnostic of breast tumors to dispel doubt after a mammography

• Counterfeit: identification of counterfeit medicine in luggage or parcels

• Security: in luggage (cabin or hold) or parcels - Detection of explosives: solid (TNT, TATP) or liquids (nitromethane, H2O2) - Detection of narcotics

• Nondestructive Testing: detection of metal stress

Publications & communications

D. Barbes and al, ”Material-specific imaging system using energydispersive X-ray diffraction and spatially resolved CdZnTe detectors with potential application in breast imaging”, in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Volume 848, 11 March 2017, pages 91–98.

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