High energy X-ray phase and dark-field imaging using a random absorption mask
X-ray phase and dark-field imaging techniques provide complementary and inaccessible information compared to conventional X-ray absorption or visible light imaging. However, such methods typically require sophisticated experimental apparatus or X-ray beams with specific properties. Recently, an X-ray speckle-based technique has shown great potential for X-ray phase and dark-field imaging using a simple experimental arrangement. However, it still suffers from either poor resolution or the time consuming process of collecting a large number of images. To overcome these limitations, in this report we demonstrate that absorption, dark-field, phase contrast, and two orthogonal differential phase contrast images can simultaneously be generated by scanning a piece of abrasive paper in only one direction. We propose a novel theoretical approach to quantitatively extract the above five images by utilising the remarkable properties of speckles. Importantly, the technique has been extended from a synchrotron light source to utilise a lab-based microfocus X-ray source and flat panel detector. Removing the need to raster the optics in two directions significantly reduces the acquisition time and absorbed dose, which can be of vital importance for many biological samples. This new imaging method could potentially provide a breakthrough for numerous practical imaging applications in biomedical research and materials science.