Metal Halide Perovskite-based scintillators for X-ray detection

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Abstract

X-ray scintillators are a key technology in society with far reaching applications from security scanning to medical imaging such as radiography, computer tomography (CT) scans and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Each year, demand for medical imaging increases with CT scans usage rising approximately 4.5% each year. Furthermore, the NHS has set targets of 55000 people to survive 5 years or more following cancer diagnosis by 2028, a goal necessitating improvement in availability and affordability of X-ray devices. Increased demand further necessitates the development of devices capable of delivering lower dosages of radiation to patients while increasing image resolution. Although current commercial scintillator materials for medical imaging provide adequate results, they possess inherent limitations such as limited radioluminescence efficiency, slow time response and lack of tunability to a range of X-ray energies. This results in suboptimal dose exposures for patients and limited image resolution whilst relying on expensive, high energy and high temperature fabrication methods.

Our aim is to develop sensitive X-ray scintillator materials using Metal Halide Perovskite (MHP) composites which will give rise to a new generation of X-ray devices that could revolutionise low-dose and high throughput medical and security imaging. The proposed materials will have higher sensitivity than current commercial X-ray scintillators giving rise to higher resolution images with potential for lower dosage and cost-effective devices. The materials will be synthesised using solution processing techniques resulting in greater affordability, easing the economic burden of the rising demand for medical imaging, whilst increasing access to critical healthcare and security imaging for developing nations. We will develop synthetic methods to produce MHP composite materials in highly dense pellets in which we will address at once the two major challenges existing nowadays in MHPs for high energy radiation detection: i) instability and ii) low optical quality. Simultaneously, we will couple our materials with commercial photodetectors to deliver and test, towards the end of the project, a device for medical imaging under real operando conditions. Our strategy will be supported by advanced optical simulations, and advanced optoelectronic and structural characterisation. The aims and objectives of this project aligns with several of the EPSRC strategies, including 'novel imaging technologies' of the Healthcare Technologies area and the 'Healthy nation' section of the EPSRC delivery Plan. This highly interdisciplinary project fits within the interests of novel materials, device engineering and medical imaging and will contribute to achieving their outcomes.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023046/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2262311 Studentship EP/S023046/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Hayden Andrew Salway