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Enhancing the safety of x-rays and radiation therapy

Researchers have identified key design rule for making curved X-ray detectors, bringing clearer and safer X-rays a step closer to reality.

Published in a study in Advanced Science, scientists from NPL, the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, University of Bologna (Italy) and Sheffield University, have identified design rules for a special class of “inorganic in organic” semiconductors.

Curved X-ray detectors have the potential to revolutionize diverse sectors due to benefits such as reduced image distortion and vignetting compared to their planar counterparts. The team’s study identifies the crucial missing link in the development of curved detectors.

NPL scientists Filipe Richheimer, Sebastian Wood and Fernando Castro contributed to this work by providing calibrated measurements of the nanoscale properties of the active layer in these X-ray sensor devices.

Their measurements of the surface work function using scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy (SKPM) were key to understanding the electrical contact with the electrodes to ensure the high sensitivity of the sensor. This collaboration with the University of Surrey aligns with a recently-completed Analysis for Innovators (A4I) project with their spinout company SilverRay. SilverRay is developing high-sensitivity, flexible X-ray sensors for medical and security applications. NPL has supported them in scaling up their technology towards large scale manufacture. https://www.a4i.info/a4i_case_studies/silverray-ltd/

NPL is now following-up this work by applying the measurement techniques developed in this project to support other companies developing other emerging electronic materials and products including IR sensors, solar cells, and LED technologies.

20 Dec 2021