KIT: Origami-inspired X-ray detectors with high efficiency and resolution

Researchers from KIT have developed novel X-ray detectors based on inkjet-printed perovskite semiconductors using a clever folding technology.

X-ray detectors are widely used in medicine, industry and science. The perovskite semiconductor technology, which has already been successfully used for solar cells, also enables large-area and mechanically flexible detectors. Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now produced the semiconductor layers by inkjet printing in a new manufacturing process and realised the detector geometry by an origami-inspired folding method. They report on their results in the journal npj Flexible Electronics.

In the production of the X-ray detectors, Uli Lemmer, head of the Institute of Light Technology at KIT, and his team first printed the perovskite layer on thin plastic films using an inkjet printer. “Digital printing technologies such as inkjet and aerosoljet printing allow large-area detectors to be produced in an application-specific way,” Lemmer explains.

“However, the achievable layer thickness and pixel size are not yet sufficient for a high-performance detector,” Lemmer explains. “By using the origami-inspired folding technique, we put the semiconductor layer on the edge, so to speak, and achieve both extremely good spatial resolution in 3D and high sensitivity,” says the optoelectronics engineer. The clever folding technique makes low-cost production and excellent detector properties possible. In combination with printed transistors, a new generation of X-ray detectors could be created that are not limited in size or geometry.

With the solution developed in the Cluster of Excellence 3D Matter Made to Order, the team has taken an important step towards high efficiency and high spatial resolution.

Caption: Highly efficient: The folding technique allows high spatial resolution and sensitivity for X-ray detectors. (Graphic: LTI, KIT)

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