WE-E-18A-01: Large Area Avalanche Amorphous Selenium Sensors for Low Dose X-Ray Imaging




A large area indirect flat panel imager (FPI) with avalanche gain is being developed to achieve x-ray quantum noise limited low dose imaging. It uses a thin optical sensing layer of amorphous selenium (a-Se), known as High-Gain Avalanche Rushing Photoconductor (HARP), to detect optical photons generated from a high resolution x-ray scintillator. We will report initial results in the fabrication of a solid-state HARP structure suitable for a large area FPI. Our objective is to establish the blocking layer structures and defect suppression mechanisms that provide stable and uniform avalanche gain.


Samples were fabricated as follows: (1) ITO signal electrode. (2) Electron blocking layer. (3) A 15 micron layer of intrinsic a-Se. (4) Transparent hole blocking layer. (5) Multiple semitransparent bias electrodes to investigate avalanche gain uniformity over a large area. The sample was exposed to 50ps optical excitation pulses through the bias electrode. Transient time of flight (TOF) and integrated charge was measured. A charge transport simulation was developed to investigate the effects of varying blocking layer charge carrier mobility on defect suppression, avalanche gain and temporal performance.


Avalanche gain of ∼200 was achieved experimentally with our multi-layer HARP samples. Simulations using the experimental sensor structure produced the same magnitude of gain as a function of electric field. The simulation predicted that the high dark current at a point defect can be reduced by two orders of magnitude by blocking layer optimization which can prevent irreversible damage while normal operation remained unaffected.


We presented the first solid state HARP structure directly scalable to a large area FPI. We have shown reproducible and uniform avalanche gain of 200. By reducing mobility of the blocking layers we can suppress defects and maintain stable avalanche. Future work will optimize the blocking layers to prevent lag and ghosting.