112 innovations

The compact radiation source developed at the University of Missouri could enable cheap, portable X-ray scanners

Tiny X-ray Source Uses Piezoelectricity to Generate Radiation

Producing X-rays inside small devices is normally difficult because of high power electronics and vacuum tubes involved. Engineers at University of Missouri have developed a brand new way of generating X-rays using the piezolectric effect. It involves exciting a lithium niobate crystal using 10 volts of electricity and then releasing bursts of 100,000 volts of output that are converted into X-ray flashes.

The team believes that this technology may provide the opportunity for poorer regions of the world to have access to small and cheap X-ray devices, be a safer alternative in certain situations where medical radioisotopes are used, and maybe even lead to new dental X-ray scanners that are placed inside the mouth to fire the radiation outward.

Source: medgadget.comAdded: 11 January 2013