Thickness dependence of electron transport in amorphous selenium for use in direct conversion flat panel X-ray detectors
Abstract Amorphous Selenium (a-Se) was first commercialized for use as a photoconductor in xerography during the middle of the twentieth century. Since then the hole transport properties of a-Se have been studied extensively, however the study of electron transport remains relatively limited. Flat panel digital X-ray detectors using a-Se as a photoconductor have been developed and are being used in mammographic screening. The charge transport properties of the photoconductor layer will in part determine the performance of the flat panel detector. X-ray absorption causes electron-hole pair generation in the bulk of the photoconductor, requiring both electrons and holes to drift across the sample and be collected. If these carriers are lost in the many localized trapping states as they cross the sample, they will not contribute to the image signal resulting in unnecessary radiation exposure to the patient. Eleven a-Se samples were deposited at the University of Saskatchewan varying in thickness from 13 μm to 501 μm. Pure a-Se was chosen to ensure uniformity across the thickness of the samples, that is, to ensure the composition of the film did not change across the thickness. Time of flight transient photoconductivity experiments (TOF) and interrupted field time of flight (IFTOF) measurements were performed to measure the electron drift mobility and lifetime respectively. The product of electron drift mobility μ and lifetime τ, hence the carrier range (μτ) at a given applied electric field. The electron range is an important parameter as this places limits on the practical thickness of the photoconducting layer in a detector. This study also includes an investigation into the effect of the definition of transit time on the calculated drift mobility and analysis of the dispersive transport properties of a-Se. It was observed that as sample thickness (L) increased, electron drift mobility (μ) decreased. In addition electron lifetime (τ) decreased dramatically in samples thinner than 50 μm. Electron range (μτ) was 2.26 × 〖10〗^(-6) cm^2/V in the 147μm sample and 5.46 × 〖10〗^(-8) cm^2/V in the 13 μm sample, a difference of almost two orders of magnitude. The comparison of the half current method and inflection point methods to calculate the transit time of the same TOF curve, shows that the calculated mobility can vary by as much as 24%. This illustrates clearly that it is important to use the same point on the TOF curve to define the transit time. Charge packet dispersion (spread) in the time domain in pure a-Se samples was proportional to L^m where L is the photoconductor thickness and m ~ 1.3, measured at both 1 V/μm and 4 V/μm.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentElectrical and Computer Engineering
CommitteeDinh, Anh V.; Xiao, Chijin; Johanson, Robert
Copyright DateApril 2013
amorphous selenium, x-ray detector, mammography, time of flight, tof, interrupted field time of flight, iftof,amorphous, semiconductors, carrier mobility, carrier lifetime,