Chapter 9 - Active Matrix Flat Panel Image Sensors

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This chapter is designed to describe flat panel technologies using similar types of active matrix arrays, as in active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCDs). They underscore the more general application of a-Si thin film transistors (TFT) arrays in electronic devices. A prominent one is their use in 2D image sensors for X-ray detectors. These detectors are replacing X-ray film and, combined with ultra-high-resolution AMLCDs, provide diagnostic-quality images to radiologists. They eliminate all chemical film processing and allow easy electronic storage and transfer of digital image files. Instead of writing data to an active matrix array, as is done in displays, it is also possible to read data from specialized active matrix arrays that function as large-area image sensors. This technology is now increasingly used for flat panel X-ray detectors in medical and industrial imaging and in security applications. Three major areas where flat panel X-ray sensors are employed are: general radiography, mammography, and fluoroscopy. This chapter also discusses direct conversion detectors and indirect conversion detectors.

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