Ultra-sensitive perovskite-based X-ray detector is self-powered

April 13, 2020 //By Julien Happich
X-ray detector
Using highly crystalline two-dimensional Ruddlesden-Popper phase layered perovskites, a team of researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory has fabricated a fully depleted p-i-n diode as a novel type of X-ray detector demonstrated to be two orders of magnitude more sensitive than existing X-ray detectors.

Because perovskite is rich in heavy elements, such as lead and iodine, X-rays that easily pass through silicon undetected are more readily absorbed, and detected, in perovskite.

X-ray detectors made with 2-dimensional perovskite thin
films convert X-ray photons to electrical signals without
requiring an outside power source.
Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory

What’s more, as well as dramatically decreasing the level of radiation exposure required for X-ray radiography, the new device is self-powered, the read-outs being entirely powered by the energy generated through X-ray detection.

Schematic illustration of the 2D RP–based p-i-n thin-film
x-ray detector device architecture composed of
(BA)2(MA)2Pb3I10 (dubbed as Pb3) as an absorbing layer.

The paper "Sensitive and robust thin-film x-ray detector using 2D layered perovskite diodes" published in the Science Advances journal describes an X-ray detector that could be produced with low-cost fabrication techniques, unlike silicon-based technology, to enable dental and medical images that require a tiny fraction of the exposure that accompanies conventional X-ray imaging.

Reduced exposure decreases risks for patients and medical staff alike. The fact that perovskite detectors can be made very thin allows them to offer increased resolution for highly detailed images, which will lead to improved medical evaluations and diagnoses.

The researchers anticipate that large scale thin-layer detectors could be printed using ink-jet printers, replacing the extremely expensive silicon detector arrays used today.

Los Alamos National Laboratory - www.lanl.gov

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