The perovskite revolution
in X-ray detectors

How to improve resolution while simultaneously reduce the harmful X-ray dose? Direct-conversion X-ray detectors that use ultra-sensitive perovskite materials lead the way forward.

Technology explained

As TNO at Holst Centre, we are working on a new generation of direct-conversion X-ray detectors that will revolutionise the process of taking X-rays. Direct conversion, used for example in mammography, means that X-rays are directly transferred into an electrical signal, which is then converted into an X-ray image. Perovskite, best known for its use in the fastest-advancing solar cell technology to date, is also promising in the area of direct-conversion X-ray materials that can be applied over large surfaces at low costs. In a first demonstration of this technology, TNO at Holst Centre and Siemens Healthineers have created a perovskite-based direct X-ray detector that is 100 times more sensitive than currently used mammography detectors. This means we can reduce the X-ray dose by a factor of 100, which clearly has great health benefits. At the same time, the image resolution is better than the world’s finest CMOS indirect detector by a factor of 2, which will help to detect diseases at an early stage.

Societal benefits

The future trend in health care is to bring care to the patient instead of bringing the patient to a hospital. With the use of direct perovskite-based detectors, taking X-rays becomes easier, cheaper and safer. By turning it into a routine procedure, more people will benefit from this low-dose X-ray technology. And thanks to the improved image quality, diseases can be detected at an earlier stage, which will significantly reduce health care costs.