Samsung develops advanced digital X-ray detector
Samsung Electronics has successfully developed a flat panel X-ray detector (FPXD for short) for radiology machines in a joint venture with Vatech from Korea. It utilizes digital imaging with thin-film transistor technology, whereby the diagnostic process is enhanced in more than one way. Not only do you end up with a far more precise image, the new FPXD imaging sensor from Samsung will also go a long way in helping medical labs cut their costs where time and money are concerned since there is no longer any need for film or development processes.
Before we proceed further, what exactly is an x-ray detector? This is but an elaborate imaging sensor that is capable of converting invisible x-ray images into digital signals, which in turn are transformed into pictures instantly. Even today, the medical profession still relies primarily on costly, plastic-based analog film for X-ray photography applications, which will mostly require an excessively long period of time to develop in many medical situations. According to Executive Vice President Yoon Jin-hyuk, chief of the Mobile LCD Division in the Samsung Electronics LCD Business, “The analog film camera market almost completely switched over to digital cameras within a decade. The X-ray detector market should move even faster and become completely digitized within a few years.”
As for Samsung’s new FPXD, it measures 45 centimeters (cm) wide x 46cm high (or 61cm diagonally) and boasts a 3072 x 3072 (9.4 megapixels) resolution providing ultra-high definition images. This new technology does have a virtually an endless range of applications beyond conventional X-ray systems, making it suitable for adoption in advanced diagnostics such as CAT scans, building inspections (scanning rebar structures, etc.) and airport security scanners. The creation process of Samsung’s FPXD requires photodiodes to be attached to a TFT substrate produced using its proprietary amorphous silicon technology. These X-rays are then detected photon by photon and then converted into visible light, which in turn is converted to electrical signals that can be displayed as diagnostic images on a flat panel screen.