Plasma and Monte Carlo modeling of a psuedospark x-ray source
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A pseudospark x-ray source, for application in portable medical imaging, has been simulated at the University of Missouri. This device would allow for deployment in many venues such as emergency rooms, doctors' offices, disaster relief areas, and the battlefield to name a few. An optimized design for the proposed device was obtained through plasma and Monte Carlo modeling. The tungsten thermionic cathode found in a traditional tube was replaced by a pseudospark electron beam source. The pseudospark is a pulsed plasma-based electron source capable of generating a high-brightness, self-focused electron beam. Several pseudospark beam parameters were quantified. XOOPIC, an X11 based Object Oriented Particle-in-Cell code, was used for the plasma modeling. Beam data from these simulations were used to model x-ray production. A high-Z tungsten target was simulated downstream of the pseudospark device. MCNP, the Monte Carlo N-Particle transport code, was used for x-ray modeling. X-ray data, such as dose rate, were collected and compared against current x-ray technologies. From this comparison, an optimized design of the pseudospark x-ray source was determined.