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Notebook # 5

Digital Imaging is any imaging acquisition process that produces an electronic image that can
be viewed and controlled on a computer.
CR Computed Radiography
DR Digital Radiography
PSP Photostimulable Storage Phosphor
IP Imaging Plate
CCD Charged Coupled Device
FPD Flat Panel detector
FET Field Effect Transistor
DEL Detector Element
TFT Thin Film Transistor
DI Deviation Index
(S/N) Signal-to-Noise ratio
FOV Field of View
DQE Detective Quantum Efficiency
LUT Look Up Table
DICOM Digital Imaging & Communication in Medicine
WW Window Width
ADC Analog-to-Digital Converter
PSL Photostimulated Luminescence

Characteristics of Imaging
Binary- combination of 1 or 0
Byte- 8-bit word (bits combined are bytes)
Bit- binary digit or binary # smallest
Matrix- series of boxes laid out in rows and columns that gives form to the image the
greater the matrix size for the same FOV, the better the spatial resolution because the
larger matrix provides smaller pixels, small matrix provides larger pixels
Pixels- picture element that is the smallest element in a digital image (1 square)
# of pixels in matrix= # of boxes in the row X # of boxes in column
Voxel- the higher the number of voxel the darker grays
Field of View- overall dimension of image matrix. The larger the FOV, the more area is
imaged. As matrix increases the FOV remains the same, pixel size must decrease to fit
into the matrix
Gray scale bit depth- # of shades of gray ranges. EX: if a grayscale depth of 8 produces
2^8 so there are 256 shades of gray.
Photostimulable Phosphor image capture is the digital acquisition modality that uses storage
phosphor plates to produce projection images.
PSP imaging plates storage are placed inside the PSP and are similar to intensifying screens but
the plates can store a portion of the incident x-ray energy in traps within the material for a later
readout. The plates are made of barium fluorohalide (halide is bromine and or iodine) and
europium is the activator. It has several layers that record and enhance transmission of the
image from a beam of ionizing radiation. Layers- protective layer, conductor layer, a phosphor
layer, support layer made of polyester, and a light
Indirect Capture digital radiography device- absorb x-rays and convert them into light. The
light is then collected by a CCD (charge-coupled device) or a thin film transistor (TFT) and then
converted into an electrical signal that is sent to the computer for processing and viewing.
Scintillator- is used in both systems to convert the x-ray photons to light. When the x-ray passes
through the scintillator, it emits a glow of visible light. It shows up very light almost white and
has bright or dark patterns on the image. The difference is in the way the light is converted to
an electrical signal. Scintillators emit light in all directions which reduces spatial resolution.
Cesium iodide (CsI) is the phosphor that is composed of gadolinium oxysulfide and is
manufactured as structured crystals in the form of columns of 10-20 micrometers in diameter.
The scintillator is made by growing thin needles that work as light-directing tubes similar to
fiber optics. The needles absorb x-ray photons and convert their energy to into light directing it
toward the amorphous silicon. Gadolinium Oxysulfide is the most popular a. silicon detector
and uses a scintillator. Its a turbid phosphor (unstructured) where crystals are deposited as fine
powdered particles. The turbid scintillator emits light in all directions and a needle system
controls the light which is good because it makes it more efficient. Once the light reaches the
amorphous silicon, its converted to electrical charges that are deposited on a TFT.
Amorphous Silicon (14z) detector- cant directly convert x-rays into the electrical charge but
photodiodes work as light detectors to capture fluorescent light. The silicon is a thick layer that
provides sensitivity to the incoming photons. Its about 50 thick and absorbs x-rays and
converts them to electrons which are then stored in TFT detectors.

TFT (Thin Flat Transistor)- both amorphous silicon and amorphous selenium flat plate detectors
use TFTs for an electronic readout. The TFT collects electric charges that are produced by them
as an array or matrix of detector elements (DEL). DEL has a switch and sensing/storage area.
When the switch for each del in the row is activated the signal is then sent to the computer.
The del is formed by voltage gates that at readout open and close like gates to allow flow of
electrons. DELs are positioned in a matrix so it allows a charge pattern to be readout on a pixel
by pixel and column by column basis. Detector electronics that arent sensitive to charge use up
space. Fill factor is the sensing area and is expressed as a percentage. Therefore, if a detector
has a fill factor of 85%, then the 15% is covered by electronics. Having a smaller pixel pitch will
increase electronics and lower the fill factor resulting in less sensitivity.
CCD (Charge Coupled Device)- CCD is a photodetector, which is a device that that can convert
visible light into an electrical charge and stores it in a sequential pattern. The store charge can
be released to the ADC line by line. Light produced from x-ray interactions must be optically
coupled to CCD sensor chip by lenses or fiber optics. Some systems use a 2.5cm X 2.5cm chip
that creates a demagnification which is the process of reducing the phosphor output image to
the size of the active area of the CCD chip. Demagnification uses lenses, optics, and mirrors to
accomplish it. CCDs can be tiled in a 16 x 12 array to a single CCD. CCD creates an electrical
signal that is sent to the computer for processing.

CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semicondutor) systems- CMOS systems uses a scintillator
that when struck with x-ray photons they convert x-rays into light photons and store them in
capacitors. The pixel or DEL has its own amplifier that is switched on and off by a circuitry
within the pixel and converting light photons into electrical charges. Voltage from amplifier is
converted to ADC. CMOS is a semiconductor which is a solid chemical element or compound
that conducts electricity under certain conditions making it a good medium for the control of
electrical current. Dopants are added to semiconductors because the materials do not conduct
electricity very well by themselves. So, they are doped with impurities that make them highly
conductive. The semiconductor becomes an N-type transistor (negative charge w/ extra
electrons) and P-type transistors (positive charge). If the direction of the current changes
rapidly then the transistor become hot and it will slow down the microprocessor. CMOS image
sensors convert light into electrons and the electrons are stored in capacitors located within the
pixel. An ADC turns pixel values into the digital value.

3 Step Process- 1. Photons striking the dielectric receptor are absorbed by a scintillation or
phosphor material in the imaging plate that converts incident x-ray photon energy to light.

2. photosensitive array is made up of small pixels and converts light into


electrical charges. The pixels contain photodiodes that absorb light from the scintillator
and generate electrical charges.
3.Silicon TFT isolates each pixel element and reacts like a switch to send
electrical charges to image processor. More than 1 million pixels can be read and
converted to a digital image in less than 1 second.

Direct Capture digital radiography device- converts the incident x-ray energy directly
into an electrical signal using a photoconductor (photodetector) as the x-ray absorber, sends
the electrical signal to TFT and then to an ADC. The ADC signal then goes to the computer for
processing and viewing.

Amorphous Selenium- is the active layer which is a semiconductor with great x-ray photon
detection ability before the exposure a high voltage charge is applied from the top of the
selenium layer. Ionization caused by photons result in selenium atoms freeing electrons for
collection b electrodes at the bottom of the selenium layer. The selenium layer absorbs x-rays
and converts them to electrons which are then stored in the TFT detectors.
TFT (Thin Flat Transistor)- both amorphous silicon and amorphous selenium flat plate detectors
use TFTs for an electronic readout. The TFT collects electric charges that are produced by them
as an array or matrix of detector elements (DEL). DEL has a switch and sensing/storage area.
When the switch for each del in the row is activated the signal is then sent to the computer.
The del is formed by voltage gates that at readout open and close like gates to allow flow of
electrons. DELs are positioned in a matrix so it allows a charge pattern to be readout on a pixel
by pixel and column by column basis. Each pixel contains photodiode that absorbs the
electrons and converts electrical charges. Detector electronics that arent sensitive to charge
use up space. Fill factor is the sensing area and is expressed as a percentage. Therefore, if a
detector has a fill factor of 85%, then the 15% is covered by electronics. Having a smaller pixel
pitch will increase electronics and lower the fill factor resulting in less sensitivity.

Citations

Carter, C., & Veale, B. (2014). Digital Radiography and Pacs (Second ed.). Mosby.

Carlton, R., & Adler, A. (2013). Principles of Radiographic Imaging (Fifth ed.).
Delmar.