19 March 2014 X-ray light valve (XLV): a novel detectors' technology for digital mammography
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Abstract
A novel method, based on X-ray Light Valve (XLV) technology, is proposed for making good image quality yet inexpensive flat panel detectors for digital mammography. The digital mammography markets, particularly in the developing countries, demand quality machines at substantially lower prices than the ones available today. Continuous pressure is applied on x-ray detectors' manufacturers to reduce the flat panel detectors’ prices. XLV presents a unique opportunity to achieve the needed price - performance characteristics for direct conversion, x-ray detectors. The XLV based detectors combine the proven, superior, spatial resolution of a-Se with the simplicity and low cost of liquid crystals and optical scanning. The x-ray quanta absorbed by a 200 μm a-Se produce electron - hole pairs that move under an electric field to the top and bottom of a-Se layer. This 2D charge distribution creates at the interface with the liquid crystals a continuous (analog) charge image corresponding to the impinging radiation's information. Under the influence of local electrical charges next to them, the liquid crystals twist proportionally to the charges and vary their light reflectivity. A scanning light source illuminates the liquid crystals while an associated, pixilated photo-detector, having a 42 μm pixel size, captures the light reflected by the liquid crystals and converts it in16 bit words that are transmitted to the machine for image processing and display. The paper will describe a novel XLV, 25 cm x 30 cm, flat panel detector structure and its underlying physics as well as its preliminary performance measured on several engineering prototypes. In particular, the paper will present the results of measuring XLV detectors' DQE, MTF, dynamic range, low contrast resolution and dynamic behavior. Finally, the paper will introduce the new, low cost, XLV detector based, digital mammography machine under development at XLV Diagnostics Inc.
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Sorin Marcovici, Sorin Marcovici, Vlad Sukhovatkin, Vlad Sukhovatkin, Peter Oakham, Peter Oakham, } "X-ray light valve (XLV): a novel detectors' technology for digital mammography", Proc. SPIE 9033, Medical Imaging 2014: Physics of Medical Imaging, 90333N (19 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2041620; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2041620
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