Coolidge X-ray Tube

X-ray has a wavelength of approx. 0.01 to 10 nm.

Coolidge X-ray tube

Coolidge X-ray tube

X-rays are emitted from the hot cathode(-ve) and accelerated through a potential difference V of several thousand volts.(e.g. 50kV) The high-energy electrons strike a target embedded in a copper anode (+ve).

Choice of material for anode:

  • Most electrons hit the metal target but only cause vibration of atoms. As a result, the metal gains a high amount of energy and will get heated. Thus, a metal of high melting point is necessary
  • High atomic number so that more X-ray are produced
  • Good conductor of heat

Choice of material for cathode:

  • Low Work Function
  • Low heat capacity


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