Laser-driven x-ray and proton micro-source and application to simultaneous single-shot bi-modal radiographic imaging.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19838-y
Radiographic imaging with x-rays and protons is an omnipresent tool in basic research and applications in industry, material science and medical diagnostics. The information contained in both modalities can often be valuable in principle, but difficult to access simultaneously. Laser-driven solid-density plasma-sources deliver both kinds of radiation, but mostly single modalities have been explored for applications. Their potential for bi-modal radiographic imaging has never been fully realized, due to problems in generating appropriate sources and separating image modalities. Here, we report on the generation of proton and x-ray micro-sources in laser-plasma interactions of the focused Texas Petawatt laser with solid-density, micrometer-sized tungsten needles. We apply them for bi-modal radiographic imaging of biological and technological objects in a single laser shot. Thereby, advantages of laser-driven sources could be enriched beyond their small footprint by embracing their additional unique properties, including the spectral bandwidth, small source size and multi-mode emission.