A GaAs pixel detector designed for digital mammography, equipped with a 36-channel single photon counting discrete read-out electronics, was tested using a test object developed for quality control purposes in mammography. Each pixel was 200 x 200 mu m(2) large, and 200 mu m deep. The choice of GaAs with respect to silicon (largely used in other applications and with a more established technique) has been made because of the much better detection efficiency at mammographic energies, combined with a very good charge collection efficiency achieved thanks to new ohmic contacts. This GaAs detector is able to perform a measurement of low-contrast details, with minimum contrast lower (nearly a factor two) than that typically achievable with standard mammographic film + screen systems in the same conditions of clinical routine. This should allow for an earlier diagnosis of breast tumour masses. Due to these encouraging results, the next step in the evolution of our imaging system based on GaAs detectors has been the development of a VLSI front-end prototype chip (MEDIPIX) in order to cover a much larger diagnostic area. The chip reads 64 x 64 channels in single photon counting mode, each one 170 mu m wide. Each channel contains also a test input where a signal can be simulated, injecting a known charge through a 16 f F capacitor. Fake signals have been injected via the test input measuring and equalizing minimum thresholds for all the channels. On an average, in most of the performing chips available up to now, we have found that it is possible to set a threshold as low as 1800 electrons with an RMS of 150 electrons (10 standard deviations lower than the 20 keV photon signal roughly equivalent to 4500 electrons). The detector, bump-bonded to the chip, will be tested and a ladder of detectors will be prepared to be able to scan large surface objects. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
|Autori:||Amendolia SR; Bertolucci E; Bisogni M; Bottigli U; Ceccopieri A; Ciocci MA; Conti M; Delogu P; Fantacci ME; Maestro P; Marzulli V; Pernigotti E; Romeo N; Rosso V; Rosso P; Stefanini A; Stumbo S|
|Titolo:||MEDIPIX: a VLSI chip for a GaAs pixel detector for digital radiology RID E-3280-2010|
|Anno del prodotto:||1999|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/S0168-9002(98)01094-8|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|