Tables for
Volume H
Powder diffraction
Edited by C. J. Gilmore, J. A. Kaduk and H. Schenk

International Tables for Crystallography (2018). Vol. H, ch. 2.5, pp. 127-128

Section Detective quantum efficiency and energy range

B. B. Hea*

aBruker AXS Inc., 5465 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, USA
Correspondence e-mail: Detective quantum efficiency and energy range

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The detective quantum efficiency (DQE), also referred to as the detector quantum efficiency or quantum counting efficiency, is measured by the percentage of incident photons that are converted by the detector into electrons that constitute a measurable signal. For an ideal detector, in which every X-ray photon is converted to a detectable signal without additional noise added, the DQE is 100%. The DQE of a real detector is less than 100% because not every incident X-ray photon is detected, and because there is always some detector noise. The DQE is a parameter defined as the square of the ratio of the output and input signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) (Stanton et al., 1992[link]):[{\rm DQE} = {\left({{{{{(S/N)}_{\rm out}}} \over {{{(S/N)}_{\rm in}}}}} \right)^2}.\eqno(2.5.22)]

The DQE of a detector is affected by many variables, for example the X-ray photon energy and the counting rate. The dependence of the DQE on the X-ray photon energy defines the energy range of a detector. The DQE drops significantly if a detector is used out of its energy range. For instance, the energy range of MWPC and microgap detectors is about 3 to 15 keV. The DQE with Cu Kα radiation (8.06 keV) is about 80%, but drops gradually when approaching the lower or higher energy limits. The energy range of imaging plates is much wider (4–48 keV). The energy range of a CCD, depending on the phosphor, covers from 5 keV up to the hard X-ray region.


Stanton, M., Phillips, W. C., Li, Y. & Kalata, K. (1992). Correcting spatial distortions and nonuniform response in area detectors. J. Appl. Cryst. 25, 549–558.Google Scholar

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