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Current advances and future trends in X-ray digital detectors for medical applications

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1 Author(s)
J. A. Rowlands ; Med. Imaging. Res., Toronto Univ., Ont., Canada

Despite the progress made in imaging modalities based on nonionizing radiation such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray is still the primary imaging method in most radiology departments. In recent years, digital electronics and manufacturing methods have led to many approaches for the design and construction of X-ray detectors. The ideal medical X-ray system is a digital, flat-panel able to perform all current radiological modalities at reduced dose. It would, immediately after the patient's X-ray exposure, provide a high quality radiograph on a video monitor. It would also be usable for real-time imaging (e.g., digital cine loops and fluoroscopy). The physical form would be similar to a film/screen cassette (except for the addition of an umbilical cord) which could easily fit into the Bucky tray of existing X-ray rooms. There are two main approaches both based on active matrix technology developed for lap-top displays. The first, called the direct method employs a photoconductive layer of amorphous selenium (a-Se) to detect X-rays. The charge image formed on the surface of the a-Se is digitally read out in situ using a two-dimensional array of thin-film transistors (TFT's), i.e., an active matrix. The second flat panel method is called the indirect method and uses an active matrix to readout a phosphor layer. Phosphors give off light on interaction with X-rays and this is sensed by photo diodes on the active matrix. The relative practicality of the direct and indirect active matrix readout systems is an area of current investigation

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 6 )