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Proceedings Paper

Image quality of a prototype direct conversion detector for digital mammography
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Paper Abstract

A digital mammography system in which the x-ray sensitive device is a solid-state direct conversion detector is under development. This detector is a 1 mm thick silicon photodiode array hybridized to a CCD read-out, with a 50 micrometer pixel pitch. The detector is designed to be used in a slot-scanned system using time-delay integration (TDI) for signal acquisition. To handle the large signal generated in the photodiode, a novel read-out technique was used, in which charge was integrated 'on-chip' over a small number of rows, and the output of each of these sections was digitally summed 'off-chip' to produce the total integrated signal for each pixel in the image. This two-stage integration process not only allows easy acquisition of large signals, it effectively increases bit depth from 12 bits (for a single section) to approximately 16 (for the total integrated signal). The image quality of the device has been measured and compared to predictions based on cascaded linear systems theory. The resolution of the new detector was determined from the modulation transfer function (MTF) which was obtained from over-sampled edge spread functions (ESF). The ESF was measured in both the scan and slot directions from four repeated images of a tantalum edge. Noise power spectra (NPS) were determined from 40 repeated flat-field images at each of several x-ray exposures. By combining the MTF and NPS measurements, the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) was also determined. The MTF in the non-scanned direction was found to greater than 20% at 10 mm-1 and slightly lower in the scanned direction (approximately equals 10% at 10 mm-1). In all cases, the DQE was at least comparable to film-screen mammography receptors. The DQE at 120 mR detector exposure at zero spatial frequency ranged from 0.4 to 0.6 depending on the sample tested. Electronic noise was fairly low, contributing to less than plus or minus 7 ADU (out of a possible 98304 ADU). Future work will involve re-designing the prototype to use a photoconductor with higher density and atomic number to improve quantum interaction efficiency and reduce geometric constraints on image quality.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3659, Medical Imaging 1999: Physics of Medical Imaging, (28 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.349516
Show Author Affiliations
James Gordon Mainprize, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Nancy L. Ford, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Shi Yin, Nova R & D, Inc. (United States)
Tumay O. Tumer, Nova R & D, Inc. (United States)
Martin Joel Yaffe, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Toronto (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3659:
Medical Imaging 1999: Physics of Medical Imaging
John M. Boone; James T. Dobbins, Editor(s)

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