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. 129-130

Section Spatial correction

B. B. Hea*

aBruker AXS Inc., 5465 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, USA
Correspondence e-mail: Spatial correction

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In an ideal flat 2D detector, not only does each pixel have the same intensity response, but also an accurate position. The pixels are aligned in the x and y directions with equal spacing. In most cases we assume that the detective area is completely filled by pixels, so the distance between two neighbouring pixels is equivalent to the pixel size. The deviation from this perfect pixel array is called spatial distortion. The extent of spatial distortion is dependent on the nature and limitation of the detector technology. A CCD detector with 1:1 demagnification may have a negligible spatial distortion, but the barrel distortion in the coupling fibre-optic taper can introduce substantial spatial distortion. An image-plate system may have spatial distortion caused by imperfections in the scanning system (Campbell et al., 1995[link]). MWPC detectors typically exhibit more severe spatial distortion due to the window curvature and imperfections in the wire anode (Derewenda & Helliwell, 1989[link]).

The spatial distortion is measured from X-ray images collected with a uniformly radiating point source positioned at the instrument centre and a fiducial plate fastened to the front surface of the detector. The source for spatial correction should have a very accurate position, point-like shape and small size. The fiducial plate is a metal plate with accurately distributed pinholes in the x and y directions. The X-ray image collected with this setup contains sharp peaks corresponding to the pinhole pattern of the fiducial plate. Since accurate positions of the peaks are given by the fiducial plate, the spatially corrected image is a projection of the collected image to this plane. Therefore, the detector plane is defined as the contacting plane between the fiducial plate and detector front face.

Spatial correction restores the spatially distorted diffraction frame into a frame with correct pixel positions. Many algorithms have been suggested for spatial correction (Sulyanov et al., 1994[link]; Tate et al., 1995[link]; Stanton et al., 1992[link]; Campbell et al., 1995[link]). In the spatially corrected frame each pixel is generated by computing the pixel count from the corresponding pixels based on a spatial-correction look-up table. In a typical spatial-correction process, an image containing the spots from the calibration source passing through the fiducial plate is collected. The distortion of the image is revealed by the fiducial spots. Based on the known positions of the corresponding pinholes in the fiducial plate, the distortion of each fiducial spot can be determined. The spatial correction for all pixels can be calculated and stored as a look-up table. Assuming that the detector behaves the same way in the real diffraction-data collection, the look-up table generated from the fiducial image can then be applied to the real diffraction frames. The spatial calibration must be done at the same sample-to-detector distance as the diffraction-data collection.


Campbell, J. W., Harding, M. M. & Kariuki, B. (1995). Spatial-distortion corrections, for Laue diffraction patterns recorded on image plates, modelled using polynomial functions. J. Appl. Cryst. 28, 43–48.Google Scholar
Derewenda, Z. & Helliwell, J. R. (1989). Calibration tests and use of a Nicolet/Xentronics imaging proportional chamber mounted on a conventional source for protein crystallography. J. Appl. Cryst. 22, 123–137.Google Scholar
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
Sulyanov, S. N., Popov, A. N. & Kheiker, D. M. (1994). Using a two-dimensional detector for X-ray powder diffractometry. J. Appl. Cryst. 27, 934–942.Google Scholar
Tate, M. W., Eikenberry, E. F., Barna, S. L., Wall, M. E., Lowrance, J. L. & Gruner, S. M. (1995). A large-format high-resolution area X-ray detector based on a fiber-optically bonded charge-coupled device (CCD). J. Appl. Cryst. 28, 196–205.Google Scholar

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