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Chin. Phys. B, 2023, Vol. 32(3): 038704    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ac946a

Investigations of moiré artifacts induced by flux fluctuations in x-ray dark-field imaging

Zhi-Li Wang(王志立)1,†, Zi-Han Chen(陈子涵)1, Yao Gu(顾瑶)1, Heng Chen(陈恒)1, and Xin Ge(葛昕)2
1 Department of Optical Engineering, School of Physics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China;
2 Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Shenzhen Bay Laboratory, Shenzhen 518067, China
Abstract  X-ray dark-field imaging using a grating interferometer has shown potential benefits for a variety of applications in recent years. X-ray dark-field image is commonly retrieved by using discrete Fourier transform from the acquired phase-stepping data. The retrieval process assumes a constant phase step size and a constant flux for each stepped grating position. However, stepping errors and flux fluctuations inevitably occur due to external vibrations and/or thermal drift during data acquisition. Previous studies have shown that those influences introduce errors in the acquired phase-stepping data, which cause obvious moiré artifacts in the retrieved refraction image. This work investigates moiré artifacts in x-ray dark-field imaging as a result of flux fluctuations. For the retrieved mean intensity, amplitude, visibility and dark-field images, the dependence of moiré artifacts on flux fluctuation factors is theoretically derived respectively by using a first-order Taylor series expansion. Results of synchrotron radiation experiments verify the validity of the derived analytical formulas. The spatial frequency characteristics of moiré artifacts are analyzed and compared to those induced by phase-stepping errors. It illustrates that moiré artifacts can be estimated by a weighted mean of flux fluctuation factors, with the weighting factors dependent on the moiré phase and different greatly for each retrieved image. Furthermore, moiré artifacts can even be affected by object's features not displayed in the particular contrast. These results can be used to interpret images correctly, identify sources of moiré artifacts, and develop dedicated algorithms to remove moiré artifacts in the retrieved multi-contrast images.
Keywords:  x-ray imaging      dark-field imaging      moiré artifacts      flux fluctuations  
Received:  23 June 2022      Revised:  03 September 2022      Accepted manuscript online:  23 September 2022
PACS:  87.59.-e (X-ray imaging) (Dark field)  
  87.57.cp (Artifacts and distortion)  
  87.57.N- (Image analysis)  
Fund: Project supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. U1532113, 11475170, and 11905041), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. PA2020GDKC0024), and Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. 2208085MA18).
Corresponding Authors:  Zhi-Li Wang     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Zhi-Li Wang(王志立), Zi-Han Chen(陈子涵), Yao Gu(顾瑶), Heng Chen(陈恒), and Xin Ge(葛昕) Investigations of moiré artifacts induced by flux fluctuations in x-ray dark-field imaging 2023 Chin. Phys. B 32 038704

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