NASA’s Langley Re search Center has developed Scintillating Quantum Dots for Imaging X-rays (SQDIX) technology that enables the creation of x-ray detectors that are more sensitive than current x-ray detectors. In addition to superior sensitivity, SQDIX also offers the promise of reducing the cost of x-ray detectors by at least a factor of 10. Simply stated, SQDIX has the potential to change the way that x-ray detection is done.

Some StQD polymers under UV excitation.

Scintillating quantom dots (StQDs) are sensitive to x-ray radiation and emit visible photons that are tunable in wavelength. Development of this technology will impact NASA’s ability to use x-rays as an inspection method. This directly addresses the ability to monitor and assess the health of aircraft more efficiently and effectively, as well as all NASA spaceflights beyond Earth’s magnetic field.

The technology enables very high-speed x-ray imaging, and is environmentally friendly in comparison with conventional scintillator materials. It minimizes the x-ray exposure to patients in medical imaging applications, and also the time required for exposure to ionizing radiation. Combined with its reduced cost, this could make some previously cost-prohibitive forms of medical x-ray imaging more widely available.

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