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Title: Amorphous Selenium Based Detectors for Medical Imaging Applications

Abstract

We have developed and characterized large volume amorphous (a-) selenium (Se) stabilized alloys for room temperature medical imaging devices and high-energy physics detectors. The synthesis and preparation of well-defined and high quality a-Se (B, As, Cl) alloy materials have been conducted using a specially designed alloying reactor at EIC and installed in an argon atmosphere glove box. The alloy composition has been precisely controlled and optimized to ensure good device performance. The synthesis of large volume boron (B) doped (natural and isotopic 10B) a-Se (As, Cl) alloys has been carried out by thoroughly mixing vacuum distilled and zone-refined (ZR) Se with previously synthesized Se-As master alloys, Se-Cl master alloys and B. The synthesized a-Se (B, As, Cl) alloys have been characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS), and detector testing. The a- Se alloys have shown high promise for x-ray detectors with its high dark resistivity (1010-1013 cm), good charge transport properties, and cost-effective large area scalability. Details of various steps about detector fabrication and testing of these imaging devices are also presented.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. EIC Laboratories, Inc.
  2. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Work for Others (WFO)
OSTI Identifier:
1003696
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Proceedings of SPIE; Journal Volume: 6319
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; SELENIUM ALLOYS; AMORPHOUS STATE; RADIATION DETECTORS; BORON ALLOYS; ARSENIC ALLOYS; CHLORINE ADDITIONS; SYNTHESIS; PERFORMANCE TESTING; X-RAY DETECTION

Citation Formats

Mandal, Krishna, Kang, Sung Hoon, Choi, Michael, and Jellison Jr, Gerald Earle. Amorphous Selenium Based Detectors for Medical Imaging Applications. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1117/12.683817.
Mandal, Krishna, Kang, Sung Hoon, Choi, Michael, & Jellison Jr, Gerald Earle. Amorphous Selenium Based Detectors for Medical Imaging Applications. United States. doi:10.1117/12.683817.
Mandal, Krishna, Kang, Sung Hoon, Choi, Michael, and Jellison Jr, Gerald Earle. Sun . "Amorphous Selenium Based Detectors for Medical Imaging Applications". United States. doi:10.1117/12.683817.
@article{osti_1003696,
title = {Amorphous Selenium Based Detectors for Medical Imaging Applications},
author = {Mandal, Krishna and Kang, Sung Hoon and Choi, Michael and Jellison Jr, Gerald Earle},
abstractNote = {We have developed and characterized large volume amorphous (a-) selenium (Se) stabilized alloys for room temperature medical imaging devices and high-energy physics detectors. The synthesis and preparation of well-defined and high quality a-Se (B, As, Cl) alloy materials have been conducted using a specially designed alloying reactor at EIC and installed in an argon atmosphere glove box. The alloy composition has been precisely controlled and optimized to ensure good device performance. The synthesis of large volume boron (B) doped (natural and isotopic 10B) a-Se (As, Cl) alloys has been carried out by thoroughly mixing vacuum distilled and zone-refined (ZR) Se with previously synthesized Se-As master alloys, Se-Cl master alloys and B. The synthesized a-Se (B, As, Cl) alloys have been characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS), and detector testing. The a- Se alloys have shown high promise for x-ray detectors with its high dark resistivity (1010-1013 cm), good charge transport properties, and cost-effective large area scalability. Details of various steps about detector fabrication and testing of these imaging devices are also presented.},
doi = {10.1117/12.683817},
journal = {Proceedings of SPIE},
number = ,
volume = 6319,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}
  • Purpose: Active matrix flat panel imagers (AMFPI) have limited performance in low dose applications due to the electronic noise of the thin film transistor (TFT) array. A uniform layer of avalanche amorphous selenium (a-Se) called high gain avalanche rushing photoconductor (HARP) allows for signal amplification prior to readout from the TFT array, largely eliminating the effects of the electronic noise. The authors report preliminary avalanche gain measurements from the first HARP structure developed for direct deposition onto a TFT array. Methods: The HARP structure is fabricated on a glass substrate in the form of p-i-n, i.e., the electron blocking layermore » (p) followed by an intrinsic (i) a-Se layer and finally the hole blocking layer (n). All deposition procedures are scalable to large area detectors. Integrated charge is measured from pulsed optical excitation incident on the top electrode (as would in an indirect AMFPI) under continuous high voltage bias. Avalanche gain measurements were obtained from samples fabricated simultaneously at different locations in the evaporator to evaluate performance uniformity across large area. Results: An avalanche gain of up to 80 was obtained, which showed field dependence consistent with previous measurements from n-i-p HARP structures established for vacuum tubes. Measurements from multiple samples demonstrate the spatial uniformity of performance using large area deposition methods. Finally, the results were highly reproducible during the time course of the entire study. Conclusions: We present promising avalanche gain measurement results from a novel HARP structure that can be deposited onto a TFT array. This is a crucial step toward the practical feasibility of AMFPI with avalanche gain, enabling quantum noise limited performance down to a single x-ray photon per pixel.« less
  • Cited by 13
  • Amorphous selenium (a-Se) based real-time flat-panel imagers (FPIs) are finding their way into the digital radiology department because they offer the practical advantages of digital x-ray imaging combined with an image quality that equals or outperforms that of conventional systems. The temporal imaging characteristics of FPIs can be affected by ghosting (i.e., radiation-induced changes of sensitivity) when the dose to the detector is high (e.g., portal imaging and mammography) or the images are acquired at a high frame rate (e.g., fluoroscopy). In this paper, the x-ray time-of-flight (TOF) method is introduced as a tool for the investigation of ghosting inmore » a-Se photoconductor layers. The method consists of irradiating layers of a-Se with short x-ray pulses. From the current generated in the a-Se layer, ghosting is quantified and the ghosting parameters (charge carrier generation rate and carrier lifetimes and mobilities) are assessed. The x-ray TOF method is novel in that (1) x-ray sensitivity (S) and ghosting parameters can be measured simultaneously (2) the transport of both holes and electrons can be isolated, and (3) the method is applicable to the practical a-Se layer structure with blocking contacts used in FPIs. The x-ray TOF method was applied to an analysis of ghosting in a-Se photoconductor layers under portal imaging conditions, i.e., 1 mm thick a-Se layers, biased at 5 V/{mu}m, were irradiated using a 6 MV LINAC x-ray beam to a total dose (ghosting dose) of 30 Gy. The initial sensitivity (S{sub 0}) of the a-Se layers was 63{+-}2 nC cm{sup -2} cGy{sup -1}. It was found that S decreases to 30% of S{sub 0} after a ghosting dose of 5 Gy and to 21% after 30 Gy at which point no further change in S occurs. At an x-ray intensity of 22 Gy/s (instantaneous dose rate during a LINAC x-ray pulse), the charge carrier generation rate was 1.25{+-}0.1x10{sup 22} ehp m{sup -3} s{sup -1} and, to a first approximation, independent of the ghosting dose. However, both hole and electron transport showed a strong dependence on the ghosting dose: hole transport decreased by 61%, electron transport by up to {approx}80%. Therefore, degradation of both hole and electron transport due to the recombination of mobile charge carriers with trapped carriers (of opposite polarity) were identified as the main cause of ghosting in this study.« less
  • A theoretical model for describing the bias-dependent transient behavior of dark current in multilayer (n-i-p) amorphous selenium (a-Se) detectors has been developed. The transient dark currents in these detectors are measured and are compared to the proposed dark current model. It has been found that the dark current is mainly controlled by Schottky emission of holes from the metal/a-Se contact. The initial and steady state dark currents are mainly controlled by the barrier height and the trap centers in the n layer, respectively.
  • Amorphous selenium (a-Se) has been incorporated successfully in direct conversion flat panel x-ray detectors, and has demonstrated superior image quality in screening mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) under energy integration mode. The present work explores the potential of a-Se for photon counting detectors in DBT. We investigated major factors contributing to the variation in the charge collected by a pixel upon absorption of each x-ray photon. These factors included x-ray photon interaction, detector geometry, charge transport, and the pulse shaping and noise properties of the photon counting readout circuit. Experimental measurements were performed on a linear array test structuremore » constructed by evaporating an a-Se layer onto an array of 100 {mu}m pitch strip electrodes, which are connected to a 32 channel low noise photon counting integrated circuit. The measured pulse height spectrum (PHS) under polychromatic xray exposure was interpreted quantitatively using the factors identified. Based on the understanding of a-Se photon counting performance, design parameters were proposed for a 2D detector with high quantum efficiency and count rate that could meet the requirements of photon counting detector for DBT.« less