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Title: Amorphous In–Ga–Zn–O thin-film transistor active pixel sensor x-ray imager for digital breast tomosynthesis

Purpose: The breast cancer detection rate for digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is limited by the x-ray image quality. The limiting Nyquist frequency for current DBT systems is around 5 lp/mm, while the fine image details contained in the high spatial frequency region (>5 lp/mm) are lost. Also today the tomosynthesis patient dose is high (0.67–3.52 mGy). To address current issues, in this paper, for the first time, a high-resolution low-dose organic photodetector/amorphous In–Ga–Zn–O thin-film transistor (a-IGZO TFT) active pixel sensor (APS) x-ray imager is proposed for next generation DBT systems. Methods: The indirect x-ray detector is based on a combination of a novel low-cost organic photodiode (OPD) and a cesium iodide-based (CsI:Tl) scintillator. The proposed APS x-ray imager overcomes the difficulty of weak signal detection, when small pixel size and low exposure conditions are used, by an on-pixel signal amplification with a significant charge gain. The electrical performance of a-IGZO TFT APS pixel circuit is investigated by SPICE simulation using modified Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) TFT model. Finally, the noise, detective quantum efficiency (DQE), and resolvability of the complete system are modeled using the cascaded system formalism. Results: The result demonstrates that a large charge gain of 31–122 is achieved formore » the proposed high-mobility (5–20 cm{sup 2}/V s) amorphous metal-oxide TFT APS. The charge gain is sufficient to eliminate the TFT thermal noise, flicker noise as well as the external readout circuit noise. Moreover, the low TFT (<10{sup −13} A) and OPD (<10{sup −8} A/cm{sup 2}) leakage currents can further reduce the APS noise. Cascaded system analysis shows that the proposed APS imager with a 75 μm pixel pitch can effectively resolve the Nyquist frequency of 6.67 lp/mm, which can be further improved to ∼10 lp/mm if the pixel pitch is reduced to 50 μm. Moreover, the detector entrance exposure per projection can be reduced from 1 to 0.3 mR without a significant reduction of DQE. The signal-to-noise ratio of the a-IGZO APS imager under 0.3 mR x-ray exposure is comparable to that of a-Si:H passive pixel sensor imager under 1 mR, indicating good image quality under low dose. A threefold reduction of current tomosynthesis dose is expected if proposed technology is combined with an advanced DBT image reconstruction method. Conclusions: The proposed a-IGZO APS x-ray imager with a pixel pitch <75 μm is capable to achieve a high spatial frequency (>6.67 lp/mm) and a low dose (<0.4 mGy) in next generation DBT systems.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Solid-State Electronic Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22409593
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; IMAGE PROCESSING; LEAKAGE CURRENT; MAMMARY GLANDS; NEOPLASMS; OXIDES; QUANTUM EFFICIENCY; READOUT SYSTEMS; RESOLUTION; SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO; THIN FILMS; TRANSISTORS; X RADIATION