Finding State-of-the-Art X-ray Detectors

QA using X-rays requires very advanced detectors. LINX assists companies with market surveys to find the best, enabling “colour vision” in the X-ray world.

There is a great interest in using X-ray methods not only for analysis and innovation but also “live” for quality control of products and components on a production line. The radiation’s ability to penetrate objects and reveal internal structure and defects could be a strong asset to many manufacturers. In addition, several companies (also within LINX) have business models which are founded specifically on X-ray technology.
The two greatest challenges in this arena are:
• The quality and output of X-ray sources and
• The sensitivity and data quality of the X-ray detectors “seeing” the radiation.
The latter aspect is particularly complex, as commercially available detectors are high-tech products with slow development cycles and high barriers of entry to the market, a market which in itself is fairly limited. To make the most of that situation, this LINX project helps a range of its member companies keep an eye on the latest detector technologies as well as likely future developments. The aim is to enable R&D at the companies and to facilitate potential investments.
A particular focus is the so-called energy-dispersive detectors, which are able to see X-rays “in colour”, i.e. several energies at the same time, similar to what human eyes do with visual light. LINX also helps at a more basic level, in its capacity of “knowledge bank” on X-ray technology, the interaction of radiation with matter, etc., including points of contact to other X-ray experts around the world.

Techniques and Methods

Understanding the response signal from the individual pixels in an area detector is always important. In an energy dispersive imaging detector an additional layer of electronics has been applied to the pixels in order to analyze the photon energy. Several different processes in the system can lead to faulty interpretation of the signal. Processes such as electronic pileup and cross jump influence the signal. Understanding the different processes will result in better understanding of the output data and lead to better use of the energy dispersive imaging detectors.
In order to study and understand the response function in the selected energy dispersive imaging detector the work was divided into different parts:
1. Careful planning of a synchrotron experiment in order to study the response function as a function of X-ray energy and X-ray intensity.
2. Conduct the planned synchrotron experiment.
3. Analyze the data in order to understand the response function.
As a second part of the project a classical literature study of the research projects on energy dispersive imaging detectors combined with a study of the currently available energy dispersive imaging detectors on the market.

Project Information

Participants: Exruptive, LM Wind Power, Xnovo Technology and Technical University of Denmark.
Start date, end date:
 March 2017 – February 2018.
Integration of energy dispersive imaging detectors (FP09.001, Quality Assurance).