Phase-contrast methods increase contrast, detail, and selectivity in x-ray imaging. Present compact x-ray sources do not provide the necessary spatial coherence with sufficient power to allow the laboratory-scale high-resolution phase-contrast imaging with adequate exposure times. In this letter, the authors demonstrate phase-contrast imaging with few-micron detail employing a compact 6.5μm spot liquid-metal-jet-anode high-brightness microfocus source. The 40W source is operated at more than ten times higher electron-beam power density than present microfocus sources and is shown to provide sufficient spatial coherence as well as scalability to high power, thereby enabling the application of phase-contrast x-ray imaging with short exposure times in clinics and laboratories.

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