Europium-activated phosphors for use in X-ray detectors of medical imaging systems
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Three europium-activated phosphors Y2O2S:Eu, Y2O3:Eu, and YVO4:Eu emitting red light were studied to investigate their suitability for radiographic cassettes or digital imaging systems. Screens were prepared from phosphor powders with various coating thicknesses by sedimentation. To assess phosphor light producing efficiency in relation to patient dose, each screen was X-rayed using 40–120 kVp and the number of light photons emitted per X-ray incident was experimentally and theoretically evaluated. Additionally, the capability of the emitted light to sensitize films or to generate electrons in silicon photodiodes used in digital imaging systems was examined. Y2O2S:Eu screens were most efficient in light emission, and when combined with either red sensitive films or Si photodiodes, they were found superior to Y2O3:Eu or YVO4:Eu screens in film grain or electron signal generation. In many cases they were also found superior to terbium-activated phosphors. Provided that several problems related to industrial production (special dyes, reflective backing, crossover effects) are dealt with, those europium-activated screens could be employed in low-tube-voltage radiographic applications.
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