19 March 2014 Initial steps toward the realization of large area arrays of single photon counting pixels based on polycrystalline silicon TFTs
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Abstract
The thin-film semiconductor processing methods that enabled creation of inexpensive liquid crystal displays based on amorphous silicon transistors for cell phones and televisions, as well as desktop, laptop and mobile computers, also facilitated the development of devices that have become ubiquitous in medical x-ray imaging environments. These devices, called active matrix flat-panel imagers (AMFPIs), measure the integrated signal generated by incident X rays and offer detection areas as large as ~43×43 cm2. In recent years, there has been growing interest in medical x-ray imagers that record information from X ray photons on an individual basis. However, such photon counting devices have generally been based on crystalline silicon, a material not inherently suited to the cost-effective manufacture of monolithic devices of a size comparable to that of AMFPIs. Motivated by these considerations, we have developed an initial set of small area prototype arrays using thin-film processing methods and polycrystalline silicon transistors. These prototypes were developed in the spirit of exploring the possibility of creating large area arrays offering single photon counting capabilities and, to our knowledge, are the first photon counting arrays fabricated using thin film techniques. In this paper, the architecture of the prototype pixels is presented and considerations that influenced the design of the pixel circuits, including amplifier noise, TFT performance variations, and minimum feature size, are discussed.
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Albert K. Liang, Martin Koniczek, Larry E. Antonuk, Youcef El-Mohri, Qihua Zhao, Hao Jiang, Robert A. Street, Jeng Ping Lu, "Initial steps toward the realization of large area arrays of single photon counting pixels based on polycrystalline silicon TFTs ", Proc. SPIE 9033, Medical Imaging 2014: Physics of Medical Imaging, 90331I (19 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2043804; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2043804
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