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Film Layers
Base: The base is now made up of polyester which solved the problems of
being flammable and fragile from the previous materials. The base includes a
blue dye which helps reduce eyestrain. The base is coated in a substance
which will prevent the cross over effect in a double emulsion film, which is
when the light from the screen crosses over to the other. This error will cause
blurring of the image. Antihalation coating can be applied to a single
emulsion film. It will help absorb the light coming from the emulsion layer
which protects the image from being degrading. Chemicals during processing
will remove this layer to help with viewing.

Adhesive: This is a thin layer of adhesive which helps glue the emulsion to
the base of and prevent bubbles or distortion when the film is being placed
for an image. The film is often bent when being placed, or can become wet
or heated, this coating protects it from distortion.

Emulsion: Emulsion is composed of a gelatin substance, which holds many

photosensitive silver halide crystals. The emulsion acts as lucent medium to
separate the crystals so that the chemicals can reach them during
processing. It helps spread the crystals more evenly so that they arent all
bunched together. The gelatin is radiolucent which allows light to travel
through it. The silver halides used in radiographic film include silver
bromide, silver iodine, and silver chloride. 95-98% is silver bromide. The
sensitivity spec is the inherent defect of structure of the silver halide is the
sensitivity speck. This has a positive charge which causes the attraction of
the negative silver charges.

Super coat: This is the layer of protection. It too is composed of gelatin,

but is a much harden form. It Is used to protect the soft emulsion layer from
scratches, chemicals, skin oils, or any other physical abrasions.

The creation of an image: When a film is processed it goes through

four main stages. They include crystal production, ripening, mixing, and
coating. The first is creating the actual crystals that provide the blackness on
an image. The crystals themselves are created in total darkness by
combining the silver nitrate and potassium bromide with the gelatin material.
The gelatin will allow the crystals to form by limiting oxidation and reduce
tension. The silver crystals are mainly flat in triangular shapes. They are
many different sizes, and each crystal has a lattice. In the middle of this
lattice is the sensitivity speck. This is what causes film sensitivity. During the
development the bromide concentrations will serve as ions and pumps to
assist the negative deposition of silver, which will amplify the image. Next is
the ripening stage. This is when the silver halides grow in size, which will
determine their sensitivity. The longer it ripens, the largest the crystal will be

and will be more sensitive. At a certain point in the process the emulsion will
be cooled, shredded, and washed to remove the potassium nitrate. After
ripening it will go into mixing. The emulsion that was shredded will now be
melted at a certain temperature to properly sensitize the crystals. Colored
dyes will be added to improve the sensitivity of the silver halides. Hardeners
will be added to protect it. Other agents that rea added include antifogging
agents and bactericides. The films will then be classified as either
panchromatic (all colors) and orthochromatic (not red spectrum). They are
placed in these categories according to their light sensitivity.
Intensifying Screen Layers
Intensifying screens are meant to amplify the incoming primary beam and
reduce the dose to the patient. They are normally composed of radiolucent
plastic and coated with phosphors that are meant to emit light to image
when struck by x-ray photons. The film is normally placed between two of
the screens like a sandwich. The screens are composed of four layers, they
include the base, reflective layer, phosphor layer, and a protective coat.

Base: The base of the screen is made up of polyester plastic that is 1mm
thick. The properties of this base are similar to the ones needed in the film
base layer. Those properties include, flexibility, rigid, and chemically inert.
The property that is of utmost importance is that the material must be
radiolucent, so that x-ray photons may transmit through it without any

Reflective Layer: The base material may be radiolucent to x-ray

photons, but it is not transparent to light. The reflective layer is composed of
magnesium oxide or titanium dioxide, which is used to reflect light toward
the film. When the x-ray photons strike the phosphor layer, the light emits in
an isotropic (all directions) way. By adding this reflective layer, it allows
double the amount of light to strike the film. This helps in the production of
the latent image, and decreases the dose to the patient. Sometimes a dye
will be added to this layer to absorb the longer wavelength light, it helps in
reducing the scattered light that would decrease the resolving ability of the
screen. This can cause a large area of penumbra which will cause the image
to lose its sharpness.

Phosphor Layer: This is the active layer of the screen in which light is
emitted. The phosphors absorb the energy emitted from an x-ray photon and
emit them as light photons. Phosphors have a high atomic number,
conversion frequency and spectral emission. The high atomic umber is
needed in order to increase a reaction with the x-ray photon. It is required in
order to cause photoelectric and Compton interactions. The conversion
efficiency is how much light the phosphor can emit per x-ray photon. As this
efficiency increases the dose to the patient decreases. The size of the
phosphor crystals will in the end effect the resolution on the film. The larger

the crystal the more resolution decreases and vice versa. The concentration
of the crystals will affect the resolution and screen speed. Contrast can also
be affected by the phosphors and what kind they are.

Protective Coat: The layer acts as a protective layer to the phosphor

layer from being harmed by any physical or chemical abuse.

When x-ray photons are emitted they strike the phosphor layer and that
beings to emit light. Luminescence is the ability of a material to emit light in
response to excitation. There are two types of luminescence, they are
fluorescence and phosphorescence. Fluorescence when light emits at the
time of the exposure. Phosphorescence is when light continues to emit after
the exposure is done. Intensifying screens have the same characteristics as
film, which are resolution, speed, contrast, and latitude.