Flexible digital x-ray technology for far-forward remote diagnostic and conformal x-ray imaging applications

Joseph Smith, Michael Marrs, Mark Strnad, Raj B. Apte, Julie Bert, David Allee, Nicholas Colaneri, Eric Forsythe, David Morton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Today's flat panel digital x-ray image sensors, which have been in production since the mid-1990s, are produced exclusively on glass substrates. While acceptable for use in a hospital or doctor's office, conventional glass substrate digital x-ray sensors are too fragile for use outside these controlled environments without extensive reinforcement. Reinforcement, however, significantly increases weight, bulk, and cost, making them impractical for far-forward remote diagnostic applications, which demand rugged and lightweight x-ray detectors. Additionally, glass substrate x-ray detectors are inherently rigid. This limits their use in curved or bendable, conformal x-ray imaging applications such as the non-destructive testing (NDT) of oil pipelines. However, by extending low-temperature thin-film transistor (TFT) technology previously demonstrated on plasticsubstrate- based electrophoretic and organic light emitting diode (OLED) flexible displays, it is now possible to manufacture durable, lightweight, as well as flexible digital x-ray detectors. In this paper, we discuss the principal technical approaches used to apply flexible display technology to two new large-area flexible digital x-ray sensors for defense, security, and industrial applications and demonstrate their imaging capabilities. Our results include a 4.8″ diagonal, 353×463 resolution, flexible digital x-ray detector, fabricated on a 6″ polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) plastic substrate; and a larger, 7.9″ diagonal, 720×640 resolution, flexible digital x-ray detector also fabricated on PEN and manufactured on a gen 2 (370×470 mm) substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFlexible Electronics
StatePublished - 2013
EventFlexible Electronics - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: May 1 2013May 2 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherFlexible Electronics
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD


  • A-Si
  • Active matrix array
  • Flexible electronics
  • PiN photodiode
  • TFT
  • X-ray detector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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