University of Oulu

A novel detector micro-module for computed tomography

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Author: Chen, Wu1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering
2University of Oulu, Infotech Oulu
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 14.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2004
Publish Date: 2004-10-05
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on October 15th, 2004, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Professor Arthur E. Hill
Professor Turkka Tuomi


To realize faster and more precise treatment of patients, CT technology has an urgent demand to make the CT detector arrays larger, and to cover a larger section of the body during one scan of X-ray imaging. A novel detector micro-module is developed in this thesis to meet this demand. In the novel detector micro-module, photocurrent signals are read out from the bottom side of the photodiode array chip. By avoiding the use of the top surface of the chip for routeing, as is the case in conventional CT modules, rectangular detector building blocks containing a certain number of detector elements can be produced. By tiling such building blocks in both x- and y-directions in a plane, detector arrays with any number of detector elements (in multiples of the number in a single building block) can be built. This cannot be achievable by the conventional method.

The novel detector micro-module developed in this thesis consists of an array of 16×16 active elements, and the size of the array is 21×21mm2. The array of detector elements is soldered to a multilayer LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramics) substrate via a BGA (ball grid array) with each element soldered onto one solder sphere, from which photocurrent signals are read out.

In this thesis, the working principle and the evolution of CT detector modules are reviewed and the necessity of developing the novel detector modules is justified. The concept and the structure of the novel detector micro-module are presented. The thermo-mechanical stress modeling and simulation of the structure is performed. The design and the process technology of the photodiode array for the novel detector micro-modules are discussed. The electronic characteristics of the novel detector micro-modules and the related front-end electronics are theoretically analyzed. The LTCC multi-layer substrate is developed. The assembly process of the novel detector micro-module is developed. The basic detector characteristics and light response measurement results of the novel micro-module are presented and discussed.

By improving the photodiode silicon process technology, a dark current density as low as 33pA/cm2 is achieved. Excellent mechanical accuracy is achieved with the LTCC substrate. The dimensional tolerance is +/-10μm and the flatness value is less than 50μm over a distance of a 30.5mm distance. A 64-slice detector module is produced successfully by tiling several novel micro-modules. The novel detector micro-modules are superior to conventional CT modules on many respects while being tileable. Their light sensitivity curve is smoother. They exhibit extremely low signal cross-talk; They have nearly zero wiring capacitance compared to up to 20pF in commercial CT detector modules. They also have almost zero wiring resistance compared to tens of ohm or more than one hundred ohms in the present products.

This result will have a significant impact on CT technology and the CT industry because the detector will be no longer the limiting factor in CT system performance.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 951-42-7447-4
ISBN Print: 951-42-7446-6
Issue: 209
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2004. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.