Tissue Equivalent Curved Organic X-ray Detectors Utilizing High Atomic Number Polythiophene Analogues

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Organic semiconductors are a promising material candidate for X-ray detection. However, the low atomic number (Z) of organic semiconductors leads to poor X-ray absorption thus restricting their performance. Herein, the authors propose a new strategy for achieving high-sensitivity performance for X-ray detectors based on organic semiconductors modified with high –Z heteroatoms. X-ray detectors are fabricated with p-type organic semiconductors containing selenium heteroatoms (poly(3-hexyl)selenophene (P3HSe)) in blends with an n-type fullerene derivative ([6,6]-Phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PC70BM). When characterized under 70, 100, 150, and 220 kVp X-ray radiation, these heteroatom-containing detectors displayed a superior performance in terms of sensitivity up to 600 ± 11 nC Gy−1 cm−2 with respect to the bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) nanoparticle (NP) sensitized organic detectors. Despite the lower Z of selenium compared to the NPs typically used, the authors identify a more efficient generation of electron-hole pairs, better charge transfer, and charge transport characteristics in heteroatom-incorporated detectors that result in this breakthrough detector performance. The authors also demonstrate flexible X-ray detectors that can be curved to a radius as low as 2 mm with low deviation in X-ray response under 100 repeated bending cycles while maintaining an industry-standard ultra-low dark current of 0.03 ± 0.01 pA mm−2.




Nanayakkara, M. P. A., He, Q., Ruseckas, A., Karalasingam, A., Matjacic, L., Masteghin, M. G., … Silva, S. R. P. (2023). Tissue Equivalent Curved Organic X-ray Detectors Utilizing High Atomic Number Polythiophene Analogues. Advanced Science, 10(35). https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202304261

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