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LORIX Report Summary

Project ID: 644103
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - LORIX (Large Organic Robust Imager for X-ray sensing)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Just like for visible image sensors, the global trend in the X-Ray image sensor market is to move from analog (silver films and semi-digital computed radiography (CR)) to digital direct radiography using flat panel detectors (FPD). Even if advantages like lower operational cost, higher performance and higher throughput are obvious, transition from analog to digital remains nevertheless limited for X-ray portable applications in medical diagnosis & industrial inspection, in particular because of the cost of system ownership and a lesser mechanical reliability, especially with regards to falls & shocks (compared to film & CR). By addressing both of these drawbacks, LORIX’s ambition is to speed up FPD market penetration and to strengthen European industries’ leadership position in the X-Ray imaging market.

LORIX aims to develop, prototype and demonstrate large area X-ray detectors enabled by TOLAE (Thin Organic and Large Area Electronic) technology by combining printed Organic Photo Diodes (OPD) with existing active matrices Thin Film Transistors (TFT) arrays on glass or on plastic foil (organic TFT solution), depending on the targeted application. Within the project, three different applications are covered: medical imaging (e.g; medical general radiography, fluoroscopy, mammography, interventional, mobile dental and veterinary), Non Destructive Testing (e.g. automotive, electronics, aerospace, energy – Oil/Gases, construction, food, art) and Security (e.g. luggage, transportation, portable and remote inspection with robotics…).
The project will consider two complementary technology routes (see figure 1 attached):
• The short term, low risk route is based on the ""Organic Detector On Glass"" (oDOG) concept. It involves the integration of printed organic photodiode layer on a-Si:H active matrix on glass, used for display. This provides highly competitive organic detector with higher performance at lower manufacturing cost. It is an appealing solution to extend the market share of European made detectors and to strengthen European competitiveness of the entire value chain of X-ray detection.
• The medium and long term route relies on the ""Organic Detector On Foil"" concept (oDOF) which offers differentiating properties for the portable market. It consists of the integration of a printed OPD on an organic TFT active matrix on foil. The result is a full organic sensor on plastic foil which exhibits breakthrough in terms of mechanical robustness and lightweight, advantages which will enable easier penetration into nomadic X-ray markets and later pave the way for curved and flexible image sensors.

The LORIX innovative action will bring the organic X-ray sensor technologies from Lab validation to Fab demonstration. The project is built on a set of process developments which follows different steps:
- Front-end activities dealing with the process development for reliable large OPD devices on glass or on foil matrices,
- Back-end activities dealing with the prototyping of X-Ray detectors based on TOLAE solution,
- System activities which lead to the integration of the detectors in the final X-Ray demonstration system for the 3 targeted application fields: Security, Non Destructive Testing (NDT) and Healthcare."

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

First Period:

Most promising X-ray imaging market segments and applications have been selected as well as specification requirements of the system defined for the 3 targeted applications (NDT, security, healthcare)

The definition of the specifications for the detector subsystem has been performed,

Modeling on OPD discrete photodiodes has been initiated,

A test bench adapted to large area sensor matrix on foil has been setting up.

An OPD process flow has been defined on a-Si matrix by successive optimization of the different constitutive layers including the selection of the best HIL ink candidate, and feasability of ALD encapsulation has been demonstrated,

Compatiblity tests of the OPD stack on flex OTFT matrix have been performed demonstrating the chemical compatibility of the OPD stack process on OTFT.

Specifications of the ALD and AOI (Automatic OPtical Inspection) tools have been defined and adapted to the both large area substrates (glass and plastic) used in the LORIX project and to the specific organic materials, Both tools are under construction.

Qualification and reliability protocols of the LORIX detectors have been defined on the basis of the standard current protocols.

Second Period:

Concerning the SoF (Sensor on Foil), two specific design of OTFT have been selected for the technology transfer from FlexEnable to Plastic Logic Germany,

the model of OPD (organic photodetector) devices has been improved and several simulations have been performed to analyse the optoelectrical response of the OPD in static and dynamic mode.

The process of OPD on a-Si matrix has been fixed demonstrating reproducible performances of the SoG (Sensor on Glass). Subsequantly,SoG with appropriate electro-optical performances have been selected for integration with the scintillator, the driving electronics and the packaging. It led to achieve DoG (Detector on Glass) demonstrators, which have been prequalified to be tested during the next period according to the 3 applications, NDT/ Security and Medical.

The transfer of the process flow from FlexEnable to the industrial pilot line of Plastic Logic Germany is in good progress and OTFT matrix on foil in Gen 3.5 have been fabricated and further processed with OPD on the top, so that first SoF (Sensor on Foil) have been demonstrated in 24*30 cm2.

The ALD and AOI (Automatic OPtical Inspection) tools have been successfully installed on the PICTIC (Printed Electronics) platform.

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)

"Progress Beyond the State of the Art:
LORIX will innovate by first replacing current amorphous silicon sensor by combination of conventional active a-Si:H active matrix on glass with printed OPD. Second by replacement of rigid amorphous silicon based sensor by OTFT active matrix on foil (manufactured with organic material with conventional lithographic processes) associated with printed OPD.

Expected potential Impact:
LORIX will enable the market introduction of new TOLAE based components & products on the high impact mature X-ray imaging market.
The new organic detectors that LORIX aims to develop are addressing the medium volume and high impact ""Digital X-ray image sensor"" market.
LORIX addresses not only the detectors but also the system level in the digital X-ray imaging major segments: industrial inspection systems and healthcare. These markets are set to grow by 10 to 20% in revenue the next 5 years, partly driven by the switch from analog to digital."

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