Mercier, J. R., Kopp, D. T., McDavid, W. D., Dove, S. B., Lancaster, J. L. and Tucker, D. M. Measurement and Validation of Benchmark-Quality Thick-Target Tungsten X-Ray Spectra below 150 kVp.
Pulse-height distributions of two constant potential X-ray tubes with fixed anode tungsten targets were measured and unfolded. The measurements employed quantitative alignment of the beam, the use of two different semiconductor detectors (high-purity germanium and cadmium-zinc-telluride), two different ion chamber systems with beam-specific calibration factors, and various filter and tube potential combinations. Monte Carlo response matrices were generated for each detector for unfolding the pulse-height distributions into spectra incident on the detectors. These response matrices were validated for the low error bars assigned to the data. A significant aspect of the validation of spectra, and a detailed characterization of the X-ray tubes, involved measuring filtered and unfiltered beams at multiple tube potentials (30–150 kVp). Full corrections to ion chamber readings were employed to convert normalized fluence spectra into absolute fluence spectra. The characterization of fixed anode pitting and its dominance over exit window plating and/or detector dead layer was determined. An Appendix of tabulated benchmark spectra with assigned error ranges was developed for future reference.