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16 March 2011 Noise performance limits of advanced x-ray imagers employing poly-Si-based active pixel architectures
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Abstract
A decade after the clinical introduction of active matrix, flat-panel imagers (AMFPIs), the performance of this technology continues to be limited by the relatively large additive electronic noise of these systems - resulting in significant loss of detective quantum efficiency (DQE) under conditions of low exposure or high spatial frequencies. An increasingly promising approach for overcoming such limitations involves the incorporation of in-pixel amplification circuits, referred to as active pixel architectures (AP) - based on low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin-film transistors (TFTs). In this study, a methodology for theoretically examining the limiting noise and DQE performance of circuits employing 1-stage in-pixel amplification is presented. This methodology involves sophisticated SPICE circuit simulations along with cascaded systems modeling. In these simulations, a device model based on the RPI poly-Si TFT model is used with additional controlled current sources corresponding to thermal and flicker (1/f) noise. From measurements of transfer and output characteristics (as well as current noise densities) performed upon individual, representative, poly-Si TFTs test devices, model parameters suitable for these simulations are extracted. The input stimuli and operating-point-dependent scaling of the current sources are derived from the measured current noise densities (for flicker noise), or from fundamental equations (for thermal noise). Noise parameters obtained from the simulations, along with other parametric information, is input to a cascaded systems model of an AP imager design to provide estimates of DQE performance. In this paper, this method of combining circuit simulations and cascaded systems analysis to predict the lower limits on additive noise (and upper limits on DQE) for large area AP imagers with signal levels representative of those generated at fluoroscopic exposures is described, and initial results are reported.
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Martin Koniczek, Youcef El-Mohri, Larry E. Antonuk, Albert Liang, Qihua Zhao, and Hao Jiang "Noise performance limits of advanced x-ray imagers employing poly-Si-based active pixel architectures", Proc. SPIE 7961, Medical Imaging 2011: Physics of Medical Imaging, 79610P (16 March 2011); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.878106
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