One of the results of the latest developments in x-ray tube and detector technology, is the enabling of computed tomography (CT) as a strong non-invasive imaging modality for a new set of clinical applications including cardiac and brain imaging. A common theme among the applications is an ability to have wide anatomical coverage in a single rotation. Large coverage in CT is expected to bring significant diagnostic value in clinical field, especially in cardiac, trauma, pediatric, neuro, angiography, Stroke WorkUp and pulmonary applications. This demand, in turn, creates a need for tile-able and scalable detector design. In this paper, we introduce the design of a new diode, a crucial part of the detector, discuss how it enables wide coverage, its performance in terms of cross-talk, light output response, maximized geometric efficiency, and other CT requirements, and compare it to the traditional design which is front-illuminated diode. We ran extensive simulation and measurement experiments to study the geometric efficiency and assess the cross talk and all other performance parameters Critical To Quality (CTQs) with both designs. We modeled x-ray scattering in the scintillator, light scattering through the septa and optical coupler, and electrical cross talk. We tested the design with phantoms and clinical experiments on a scanner (LightSpeed VCT, GE Healthcare Technologies, Waukesha, WI, USA). Our preliminary results indicate that the new diode design performs as well as the traditional in terms of cross talk and other CTQs. It, also, yields better geometric efficiency and enables tile-able detector design, which is crucial for the VCT. We introduced a new diode design, which is an essential enabler for VCT. We demonstrated the new design is superior to the traditional design for the clinically relevant performance measures.
The expanding set of CT clinical applications demands increased attention to obtaining the maximum image quality at the lowest possible dose. Pre-patient beam shaping filters provide an effective means to improve dose utilization. In this paper we develop and apply characterization methods that lead to a set of filters appropriately matched to the patient. We developed computer models to estimate image noise and a patient size adjusted CTDI dose. The noise model is based on polychromatic X-ray calculations. The dose model is empirically derived by fitting CTDI style dose measurements for a demographically representative set of phantom sizes and shapes with various beam shaping filters. The models were validated and used to determine the optimum IQ vs dose for a range of patient sizes. The models clearly show that an optimum beam shaping filter exists as a function of object diameter. Based on noise and dose alone, overall dose efficiency advantages of 50% were obtained by matching the filter shape to the size of the object. A set of patient matching filters are used in the GE LightSpeed VCT and Pro32 to provide a practical solution for optimum image quality at the lowest possible dose over the range of patient sizes and clinical applications. Moreover, these filters mark the beginning of personalized medicine where CT scanner image quality and radiation dose utilization is truly individualized and optimized to the patient being scanned.
In this paper, we present a simulation methodology that allows computed tomography (CT) detector designer to assess the criteria and tolerance requirements of positioning and alignment of x-ray collimators to scintillation detector arrays. Based on x-ray and optical transport simulation, we have developed an analytical model to predict the response of the measurement chain (collimator-scintillator-photodiode) in CT detector. We present the resulting effects of misalignments of the collimator array to detector array in the imaging chain through the simulation of beam hardening (water equivalent material and/or Bone) and light output using 120 kVp bremsstrahlung x-ray spectrum from a tungsten target anode source.
In this paper, we present the results and methods used to simulate the x-ray deposition and the light optical transport in x-ray detectors composed of scintillating and photodiodes arrays. Through this work, we have identified the main contributors of crosstalk and validated the model results through experimental measurements. We have assessed and quantified the effects of the reflectors, the pixel geometry and dimensions, the optical coupler between the scintillating material and the silicon photodiodes and optimized the design in order to meet the requirements of detector image quality in computer tomography. We describe some of the methods and techniques used to determine the optical properties of the material components in the simulation.
We perform pump-probe measurements in which intense ultrashort optical pulses are the pump pulses that initiate a chemical reaction and ultrafast x-ray pulses are the probe pulses that monitor the response of the system. We present experimental results on the observation of a chemical reaction process, photoinduced dissociation of gas phase SF6 molecules, detected by ultrafast x-ray absorption spectroscopy with 3 ps time resolution near the sulfur K edge at a photon energy of 2.48 keV (4.98 A). High contrast light pulses of 400 fs duration (500 mJ energy and 0.53 micrometers wavelength) from the INRS terawatt laser were focused on high atomic number targets at an intensity of 5 X 1017 W/cm2 in order to generate an x-ray continuum around the sulfur K edge. The SF6 molecule exhibits intense near shape resonances at the sulfur K and L edges, due to the multiple scattering and interference of the emitted photoelectrons by the fluorine atoms that symmetrically surround the central sulfur atom. The shape resonance of the molecule is clearly resolved in the absence of any pump pulse, and the variation of the x-ray absorption spectrum was measured as a function of the delay between the optical pump and x-ray probe pulses. As expected from theory, the reaction process is faster than can be resolved with the 3 picosecond duration x-ray pulses used in this initial experiment. This fast response can, in principle, be used to measure the duration of ultrashort x-ray pulses.
Our goal is to watch the evolution of matter on the atomic length scale and on the time scale on which elementary chemical reactions take place. We present initial experiments made in collaboration between UCSD and the INRS laboratory in Canada, on time-resolved ultrafast, 3 ps temporal resolution, near-edge x-ray absorption of gas phase SF6 at 2.4 keV (4.89 A). We can see both the initial presence of the F atoms around the S and their absence after photodissociation produced by pumping with an intense optical pulse. Simulations of ultrafast EXAFS and diffraction experiments are presented. We are constructing an ultrahigh intensity laser to generate ultrafast x-ray pulses from laser-produced plasmas. This laser is especially designed to achieve high average power, short pulse duration and high intensity to produce very high temperature solid density plasmas and ultrahot electrons for ultrafast hard x-ray production at high x-ray photon flux, which should enable us to perform a variety of ultrafast x-ray absorption and diffraction experiments. Finally, we discuss several means to measure the duration of subpicosecond x-ray pulses.