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20 April 2005 Indirect flat-panel detector with avalanche gain: design and operation of the avalanche photoconductor
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An indirect flat-panel imager (FPI) with avalanche gain is being investigated for low-dose x-ray imaging. It is made by optically coupling a structured x-ray scintillator CsI(Tl) to an amorphous selenium (a-Se) avalanche photoconductor called HARP. The final electronic image can be read out using either an array of thin film transistors (TFT) or field emitters (FE). The advantage of the proposed detector is its programmable gain, which can be turned on during low dose fluoroscopy to overcome electronic noise, and turned off during high dose radiography to avoid pixel saturation. This paper investigates the important design considerations for HARP such as avalanche gain, which depends on both the thickness dSe and the applied electric field ESe. To determine the optimal design parameter and operational conditions for HARP, we measured the ESe dependence of both avalanche gain and optical quantum efficiency of an 8 μm HARP layer. The results were applied to a physical model of HARP as well as a linear cascaded model of the FPI to determine the following x-ray imaging properties in both the avalanche and non-avalanche modes as a function of ESe: (1) total gain (which is the product of avalanche gain and optical quantum efficiency); (2) linearity; (3) dynamic range; and (4) gain non-uniformity resulting from thickness non-uniformity. Our results showed that a HARP layer thickness of 8 μm can provide adequate avalanche gain and sufficient dynamic range for x-ray imaging applications to permit quantum limited operation over the range of exposures needed for radiography and fluoroscopy.
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Wei Zhao, Dan Li, Alla Reznik, Brian Lui, D. C. Hunt, Kenkichi Tanioka, and J. A. Rowlands "Indirect flat-panel detector with avalanche gain: design and operation of the avalanche photoconductor", Proc. SPIE 5745, Medical Imaging 2005: Physics of Medical Imaging, (20 April 2005);

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