We investigate a miniaturized X-ray source using an ultraviolet (UV) laser and a pyroelectric crystal and discuss potential applications in medicine. The UV laser is the fourth harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser with a wavelength of 266 nm, repetition rate of 10 Hz, and pulse energy of 40 mJ. The pyroelectric crystal is a LiNbO3 cylinder of diameter 10 mm and length 6 mm. The prototype X-ray source we fabricated is an aluminum parallelepiped of dimensions 3 × 3 × 5 cm. The X-ray count rate of the X-ray source is maximized at approximately 1,400 cps for UV laser irradiation of approximately 5 min. After 30 min of irradiation by the UV laser, the temperature of the pyroelectric crystal rose from 295 K to 312 K. The principles of X-ray generation ensure that X-ray sources using UV lasers and pyroelectric crystals offer ample opportunity for miniaturization. We believe the X-ray source developed in this work is suitable for medical applications, although further study is needed to address points such as increasing the X-ray count rate and adjusting the temperature of the pyroelectric crystal.
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