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DiCoMo Report Summary

Project ID: 643920
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DiCoMo (Direct conversion hybrid-organic X-ray detectors on metal oxide backplane)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging which helps doctors in the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of many types of medical conditions. Today, despite the undiscussed validity of X-Ray imaging, still too many medications errors due to incorrect diagnosis occur. In particular Mammography, which is the most widely used screening modality, with solid evidence of benefit for women aged between 40 to 74 years has a relative high number of false positives with additional testing and anxiety or false negatives especially in case of high breast density with false sense of security and potential delay in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
DiCoMo aims to improve the specificity (thanks to a higher resolution) and sensitivity of digital flat panel X-ray detectors in particular Mammographs.
This is achieved by combining radical innovations from leading European players from various disciplines. On the backplane level metal-oxide thin film transistors enable the realization of an active pixel readout scheme. In combination with a custom made read-out IC this promises a significant enhancement in sensitivity.
On the frontplane level a novel solvent-free processing technology for hybrid-organic semiconductors is used in conjunction with hybrid-organic core-shell structures to realize thick hybrid-organic photodetectors with integrated scintillator particles for minimal optical cross-talk and enhanced resolution.
The overall objectives are:

• Advance the backplane sensitivity (compared to the state of the art sensitivity of “passive pixel backplanes in a-Si TFT process) by a technology-enabled “active” pixel backplane in metal-oxide TFT process of higher performance and bias-stability.
• Advance the frontplane resolution (compared to the state of the art resolution of thick CsI scintillators) by hybrid-organic photo-conversion layer for minimal optical cross-talk.
• Demonstrate the feasibility of industrially relevant integration of the above technologies through a functional prototype.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

• Selection of appropriate materials for core-shell hybrid powders
• Two preparation processes for core-shell hybrid powders established
• Pressing tool with active areas up-to 10x10 cm² defined
• Hybrid layer thicknesses up-to 500µm achieved
• Dark current densities <1E-6 mA/cm² @ 150 V achieved.
• Modelling of physical optical and electronical phenomena, x-ray emission and absorption, scintillation and visible light propagation, performed.
• The customized Si-ROIC is designed, processed and is now in the post-processing phase.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

An increased resolution in comparison to state of the art stacked Scintillator/Photodiode systems is inherently given by the technology. No optical cross-talk possible since the light emitted by the scintillator is immediately absorbed by the organic semiconductors. This has already been proven for hybrid layer thicknesses up to 170 µm.

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