Researchers at the Holst Centre in the Netherlands and imec in Belgium have completed an x-ray detector produced on a plastic substrate and capable of delivering medical-grade performance. The proof-of-concept device can produce images at 25 frames per second and 200 pixels per inch using medically appropriate x-ray doses.

The team first developed the plastic detector in 2012, reducing production temperatures to be compatible with plastic film substrates. The latest step increases performance by reducing the photodiode leakage current, improving images’ signal-to-noise ratio and ensuring low radiation dose. Oxide transistors also enable faster image acquisition.

“X-ray detectors on plastic could lead to lighter, more robust and less expensive X-ray systems that are easier to move around the hospital. Two years ago, we were the first to show such devices were technically possible. And now we have shown they can deliver the performance necessary for medical use. Our next goal is to scale up the technology and produce a full-size 30 cm by 30 cm demonstrator module for medical applications,” said Gerwin Gelinck of the Holst Centre, who headed up the research team.

The research was completed with support from Philips Healthcare and Philips Research. For more information, visit Holst Centre and imec.