HOP-X. Low-cost Organic Detectors For The X-Rays

Author: Hitechpedia   |   
Date: 20.02.2013   |   

Currently, the X-rays detectors consist of a scintillator coating that converts the X-rays into visible light and a photodiode that ‘translates’ the light into pixels. The medical imaging units using X-rays have a dose-measurement chamber that must not be allowed to affect the X-ray image product. Still, such cameras are not sensitive enough or shadow-free for the low doses of radiation that today’s X-ray devices are capable of emitting.


The organic photo detectors could improve the X-rays medical scanners performance. Siemens is conducting a research regarding the potential of the organic plastic materials that can be sprayed or printed onto a substrate at a low cost.


The photodiodes tested during the HOP-X research program could be used as radiation dose-measurement units, since they’re more sensitive than ionization measurement chambers and can be structured more easily.


The biggest challenge to date is that the organic photodiodes mostly detect the visible light. This is why the Siemens researchers are developing special nanoparticles that can be mixed into the organic plastic solution as scintillators. Other researchers are testing an alternative that involves the insertion of semiconductor nanocrystals that directly absorb the X-ray light, which is then perceived by the organic detectors in the form as electrons.


The HOP-X program is a three years government-funded project developed by Siemens Corporate Technology in partnership with Merck KgaA, the Leibniz Institute for New Materials and CAN-GmbH. The first potential applications will be used in the mammographs and the conventional X-ray devices.


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