A miniature x-ray source utilizing a hot filament cathode. The source has a millimeter scale size and is capable of producing broad spectrum x-ray emission over a wide range of x-ray energies. The miniature source consists of a compact vacuum tube assembly containing the hot filament cathode, an anode, a high voltage feedthru for delivering high voltage to the cathode, a getter for maintaining high vacuum, a connector for initial vacuum pump down and crimp-off, and a high voltage connection for attaching a compact high voltage cable to the high voltage feedthru. At least a portion of the vacuum tube wall is fabricated from highly x-ray transparent materials, such as sapphire, diamond, or boron nitride.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.