Conventional film based X-ray imaging systems are being replaced by their digital equivalents. Different approaches are being followed by considering direct or indirect conversion, with the later technique dominating. The typical, indirect conversion, X-ray panel detector uses a phosphor for X-ray conversion coupled to a large area array of amorphous silicon based optical sensors and a couple of switching thin film transistors (TFT). The pixel information can then be readout by switching the correspondent line and column transistors, routing the signal to an external amplifier. In this work we follow an alternative approach, where the electrical switching performed by the TFT is replaced by optical scanning using a low power laser beam and a sensing/switching PINPIN structure, thus resulting in a simpler device. The optically active device is a PINPIN array, sharing both front and back electrical contacts, deposited over a glass substrate. During X-ray exposure, each sensing side photodiode collects photons generated by the scintillator screen (560 nm), charging its internal capacitance. Subsequently a laser beam (445 nm) scans the switching diodes (back side) retrieving the stored charge in a sequential way, reconstructing the image. In this paper we present recent work on the optoelectronic characterization of the PINPIN structure to be incorporated in the X-ray image sensor. The results from the optoelectronic characterization of the device and the dependence on scanning beam parameters are presented and discussed. Preliminary results of line scans are also presented.
- Image sensor, Amorphous silicon
- Laser scanned photodiode
- X-ray sensor