Abstract

We demonstrate the novel application of hard x rays emitted by a laser-produced plasma for differential imaging of elements. An x-ray-emitting laser-produced plasma, obtained by the focusing of radiation from a 10-Hz terawatt laser, is used for biological imaging. The x-ray source can be arranged to yield characteristic x-ray emission lines with photon energies that bridge the K absorption edge of a chosen atomic species. One can obtain element-specific radiographs by recording transillumination images for different target materials on digital image plates and by subsequently subtracting or dividing the images. Successful phantom and experimental animal imaging are performed utilizing tantalum and gadolinium as target materials for the terawatt laser and gadolinium as the imaged contrast agent.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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