Inclusion of coherence in Monte Carlo models for simulation of x-ray phase contrast imaging

Silvia Cipiccia, Fabio Vittoria, Maria Weikum, Alessandro Olivo, Dino Jaroszynski

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Interest in phase contrast imaging methods based on electromagnetic wave coherence has increased significantly recently, particularly at X-ray energies. This is giving rise to a demand for effective simulation methods. Coherent imaging approaches are usually based on wave optics, which require significant computational resources, particularly for producing 2D images. Monte Carlo (MC) methods, used to track individual particles/photons for particle physics, are not considered appropriate for describing coherence effects. Previous preliminary work has evaluated the possibility of incorporating coherence in Monte Carlo codes.
However, in this paper, we present the implementation of refraction in a model that is based on time of flight calculations and the Huygens-Fresnel principle, which allow reproducing the formation of phase contrast images in partially and fully coherent experimental conditions. The model is implemented in the FLUKA Monte Carlo code and X-ray phase contrast imaging simulations are compared with experiments and wave optics calculations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23480–23488
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2014


  • x-ray phase contrast
  • Monte Carlo
  • coherence

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