10 March 2017 Exploration of strategies for implementation of screen-printed mercuric iodide converters in direct detection AMFPIs for digital breast tomosynthesis
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Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has become an increasingly important tool in the diagnosis of breast disease. For those DBT imaging systems based on active matrix, flat-panel imager (AMFPI) arrays, the incident radiation is detected directly or indirectly by means of an a-Se or CsI:Tl x-ray converter, respectively. While all AMFPI DBT devices provide clinically useful volumetric information, their performance is limited by the relatively modest average signal generated per interacting X ray by present converters compared to the electronic additive noise of the system. To address this constraint, we are pursuing the development of a screen-printed form of mercuric iodide (SP HgI2) which has demonstrated considerably higher sensitivities (i.e., larger average signal per interacting X ray) than those of conventional a-Se and CsI:Tl converters, as well as impressive DQE and MTF performance under mammographic irradiation conditions. A converter offering such enhanced sensitivity would greatly improve signal-to-noise performance and facilitate quantum-limited imaging down to significantly lower exposures than present AMFPI DBT systems. However, before this novel converter material can be implemented practically, challenges associated with SP HgI2 must be addressed. Most significantly, high levels of charge trapping (which lead to image lag as well as fall-off in DQE at higher exposures) need to be reduced – while improving the uniformity in pixel-to-pixel signal response as well as maintaining low dark current and otherwise favorable DQE performance. In this paper, a pair of novel strategies for overcoming the challenge of charge trapping in SP HgI2 converters are described, and initial results from empirical and calculational studies of these strategies are reported.
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Larry E. Antonuk, Larry E. Antonuk, Youcef El-Mohri, Youcef El-Mohri, Qihua Zhao, Qihua Zhao, Hao Jiang, Hao Jiang, } "Exploration of strategies for implementation of screen-printed mercuric iodide converters in direct detection AMFPIs for digital breast tomosynthesis", Proc. SPIE 10132, Medical Imaging 2017: Physics of Medical Imaging, 101320A (10 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2254552; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254552

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