Samsung has developed an X-ray detector material that is 20 times more sensitive, and decreases radiation exposure to a tenth of the normal amount.
The South Korean electronics giant is better known for smartphones and televisions, but also makes a range of medical technology.
The company has been working with Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul to develop a cost-effective perovskite semiconductor that could be used for medical X-rays and other forms of imaging.
The research, published in the journal Nature, describes a new form of printable perovskite – a crystal-structured mineral that has excellent photoelectric efficiency. Unlike traditional X-ray detectors, which are limited in size by their production process, the new materials can be made as large as required through a process known as bar-coating.
This could be used to enable low-dose X-ray detectors that can scan the whole body at once. “In order to apply perovskite onto X-ray photons, which are highly penetrable, the material must be 1,000 times thicker than that of a solar cell, while being able to retain electric signals for a sufficiently long enough time [to be] converted from X-ray,” said InTaek Han, vice-president of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. “The new method of synthesis developed from the research is a key breakthrough for the field.”
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