X-ray Technology

A Story of Evolution

From it’s discovery in 1895 to the present, x-ray technology has helped advance the field of medicine and saved countless lives over the centuries. It’s evolution has not been a smooth one, during the early 1900’s it had to overcome and learn from the first test casualties due to radiation exposure. 

Today, x-rays have been made safe and are now being used world-wide in all branches of medicine and science.

x-ray Discovery timeline

  • 2020

    NEX TECHNOLOGY uses less power, emits minimum heat with no need for oil cooling. Lighter, simpler & more reliable system with no glass, filaments or rotating anode.

  • 1980s

    The use of computers required no chemicals, had faster processing time, created digital images stored on hard drives. Can be corrected for over/under exposure & rotation.

  • 1933

    Rotating anode tubes helped improve the speed and efficacy of X-rays, and their use was broadened.

  • 1917

    WW1 – Marie Curie invents first “radiological car” with X-ray machine & darkroom for surgeons.

  • 1904

    John Ambrose Fleming invents the vacuum tube. Clarence Dally dies due to exposure to radiation.

  • 1901

    Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, won the first Nobel Prize for Physics for discovering the x-ray in 1895.

  • 2000s

    Instantaneous digital images display with higher resolutions. Lower doses of x-ray exposure.

  • 1940s & 50s

    X-rays became increasingly useful in treatment and diagnosis of serious issues. More safety regulations and precautions were put in place. Mobile X-rays developed.

  • 1922

    200,000-volt x-ray tube allowed radiographs of thick steel parts to be produced in a reasonable time.

  • 1910

    In the 1910’s, many physicians purchased their own x-ray machines.

  • 1903

    William Coolidge invents the x-ray tube, which made possible the continuous emission of x-rays.

  • 1895

    Wilhelm Roentgen’s first research into mysterious ‘x-rays’. Soon after he conducts the first x-ray on his wife’s hand.

where Micro-X Began

Peter’s Story of Discovery

In 2009, Peter was invited to evaluate new technology in Tsukuba, Japan. Here he witnessed a small x-ray box, the size of a small computer bag that was able to take an x-ray of his hand, a working miniature x-ray device.

Prf. Ken Thompson, Director of Radiology at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria confirmed that the devices that take mobile x-rays were 500 – 600kgs and not so “mobile”.

Prf. Thompson encouraged Peter to pursue this technology, as a lighter mobile system was only a dream for radiographers around the world. Taking a year of sabbatical, Peter applied for funding from the Victorian State Government scheme, Small Technologies Industry Uptake Program (STIUP), to pursue this idea. Peter was awarded funding to allow payment of engineers to work on an x-ray device prototype.

Peter had to teach engineers to think like radiographers to create an x-Ray unit that could be used in humans using this new carbon nanotube (CNT) technology. The teams successfully defined the specifications for the CNT tube, but the project from Japan was abandoned as the manufacturing of the new technology proved to be unstable.

Peter did not give up. He searched for experts in x-ray technology and found Prf. Rob Short, from Liverpool, working on the outskirts of Adelaide. Prf. Short, aware of the Japanese technology and its challenges, knew of a US group who were successful in stabilizing and reproducing the technology.
It is now 2013, and Peter began working with this company from North Carolina, to improve their quality to enable a product that could be used in clinical practice.
When the x-ray emitter was successfully tested in Australia, the process of cart building began. With the first design and prototype completed, Micro-X was created. Peter decided with his team, to tackle the manufacture of the carbon nanotube themselves in Australia.
The work began in Tonsley in three ATCO hut stands. The first Micro-X product was created within two years. The carbon nanotube was later coined Nano Electronic X-ray (NEX Technology).
Micro-X remains the only company worldwide to have successfully built this technology into products across a range of industries transforming the world of x-rays from bulky and complex to small and simple.

NEX Technology™

The next generation of Imaging

Micro-X has created proprietary Intellectual Property (IP) for the design and manufacture of electronic x-ray tubes, based on Carbon Nanotubes (CNT). We are calling this the Nano Electronic X-ray (NEX) Technology.

Micro-X is the first company in the world to introduce NEX Technology into medical imaging systems. NEX Technology is a simple, non-glass based x-ray tube, with no moving parts that generate minimal heat with no oil required for cooling. It uses carbon nanotubes to offer full medical imaging performance, in a smaller, lighter, and more reliable x-ray tube.

Micro-X’s patented technology is set to revolutionalize the potential of x-rays in a variety of industries and is currently being used as a development platform for all of our future products.


Thermionic Vs Electronic (NEX Technology)