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Notebook 5

Digital Image Direct Capture IR

-direct capture is a 2 step process that uses a photoconductor to absorb photons. It converts photons
directly to an electrical signal. The flat panel detector (FPD) in direct capture has a photoconductor that
is made of amorphous selenium, which absorbs x-ray photons and converts them to electrons which are
stored in thin film transistors (TFT). TFTs are a photosensitive array made of pixels or detector elements
(del). Each pixel has a photodiode that absorbs electrons then generates an electrical charge. In less
than 1 second, 1 million pixels can be read be a field effect transistor (FET) which surrounds the pixel
element and sends the electrical charges to the image processor. Similar to a switch, the TFT associated
with a storage capacitor allows electrical charge information to discharge into the data columns and are
read out. On one side of the circuit the read out, amplification, and analog-to-digital conversion is
performed by low-noise, high intensity amplifiers. On the other end the line scanning sequence is being
controlled.

-Pixels, matrix, and exposure latitude

Pixels are the smallest element in digital imaging that are represented by a numerical
value. Each pixel contains a bit of information in which the number of bits within a pixel is
known as pixel bit depth. When talking about a group of bits (normally 8) the term used is a
byte. A byte will tell you digital information such as a letter, number, or symbol. A group of
pixels will make up a square arrangement of rows and columns called a matrix. The numbers in a
matrix match with pixel values and each box will correspond to a specific location in the image
and a specific area of the patients tissue.

The ability of imaging plate to show small detail is knows as spatial resolution. When a
matrix is larger, the pixel size will be smaller which means better spatial resolution and vice
versa. On digital receptors, resolution is anywhere between 2.5lp/mm-10lp/mm. When using
digital there are more tissue densities seen in the image and this is due to the dynamic range
which is ability to respond to varying levels of exposure. The more contrast an image has and
the higher the dynamic range of detector, the more values can be detected or otherwise known
as exposure latitude.

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Digital Image Indirect Capture IR

-Indirect capture is a 3-step process. It is similar to direct capture in that it uses a TFT array, but it also
uses a scintillator instead of a photodconductor to absorb photons. The scintillator material is made of
phosphor such as gadolinium oxysulphide (Gd2O2S) or thallium doped cesium idodide (a-Si:H) to absorb
x-rays and produced light. Gadolinium and cesium have a different build that are structured, which is
more efficient, or nonstructured. The structured material, cesium, is a columned, needle-type crystal
which allows for more direct light. Because of this the detective quantum efficiency (DQE)is higher.
When the needles absorb the x-ray photons and convert them into light, they then go to the TFT array
and generates an electrical charge by the amorhphous silicon. Gadolinium is an unstructured material
that produces more scattered light because of its build, making it less efficient. The process of
converting the photons to an electrical charge is the same as for cesium accept the light is emitted
isotropically due to the structure.

-Charge-coupled devices (CCD)

-Indirect capture also uses what is called charge-coupled devices (CCDs). A CCD is a photoconductor
where the light produced from x-ray are coupled with optics to the CCD chip. The electron/hole pairs
made from the light hitting it are produced in the silicon. The number of holes are based upon the
amount of light emitted, and the electrons are held in electrostatic forces in TFT until the read out. The
CCD chip has three layers: polysilicon; coated with photosensitive material/electronic gates, silicon
dioxide; insulator, and silicon substrate; charge storage area. When the electrical signal is produced, it is
sent to the ADC where binary code is used to create the image. The ADC (analog-to-digital) is a system
used to quantize image data so that it can be used to be visualized on a monitor. It assigns a numerical
value for each pixel address making the pixels different colors depending on the numerical value it has
been given. In the end, creating an image.

-each pixel, formed by voltage gates, has three electrodes that hold the electron in an electrical
potential well. They open and close to allow flow of electrons. Voltage sign is changed on electrodes
within pixels and moves electrons by rows down columns until a whole row is empty. This is known as
the bucket brigade scheme. If the pixels get too full and overflow it is call the blooming effect, due to
overexposure.

-Complementary metal oxide semiconductor systems (CMOS)

-CMOS are also indirect capture systems that use a scintillator. The difference is that the light emitted
for the scintillator is stored in capacitors and voltage from the amplifiers is converted by an ADC. CMOS
are semiconductors (arsenic,boron,carbon) making it easier than other systems to control electrical
current. To assist CMOS due to lack of conduction on their own, dopants (gallium arsenade, indium
antimonide)are added to make them more conductive. When they are highly conductive they become
an N type transistor (-) or a P type transistor (+) allowing a gate-like process to allow electrical
control.

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Comparison of direct vs. indirect capture systems

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References

1. Application of the ILO International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconioses to Digital


Chest Radiographic Images. (2014, June 06). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2008-139/manuscript-samei-acquisition.html
2. Carlton, R. R., Adler, A. M., & Frank, E. D. (2006). Principles of radiographic imaging: an art and a
science. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.
3. Press, D. Energy-resolved X-ray detectors: the future of diagnostic imaging | RMI. Retrieved
February 15, 2017, from https://www.dovepress.com/energy-resolved-x-ray-detectors-the-
future-of-diagnostic-imaging-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-RMI

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