Rigaku and AGH University mark 10 years of collaboration on advanced X-ray detectors

Integrated circuits from AGH UST play integral role in Hybrid Pixel Array and Hybrid Photon Counting Detectors made by Rigaku Corporation – world leader in production of research equipment

June 26, 2018 – Krakow, Poland. X-ray analytical instrument manufacturer Rigaku Corporation is pleased to recognize its 10 year collaboration with AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. The university, whose scientists and researchers have been involved in designing integrated circuits for the needs of high-energy physics, X-ray imaging, and neurobiology, is a recognized leader in designing integrated circuits.

Rigaku Corporation, a leading manufacturer of X-ray analytical equipment for materials analysis, has locations worldwide, including Wrocław, Poland, home to the Rigaku Oxford Diffraction (ROD) division. Consequently, integrated circuits produced at AGH UST find application in devices that are sold all over the world in equipment widely used by the pharmaceutical, chemical, electronic, automotive and other industries.

For Rigaku Corporation, the scientists at AGH UST have designed several generations of integrated circuits, beginning in 2007 with the ultrafast RG64 chip for silicon strip detectors used in the Rigaku D/tex Ultra detector, found in X-ray diffractometers, and the PXD18k integrated circuit, composed of over 25 million transistors, for fast X-ray pixel cameras. The RG64 chip was capable of counting photons faster than any other integrated circuit that was available on the market at that time.

A subsequent stage of collaboration with Rigaku Corporation was designing the structure of a two-dimensional hybrid pixel detector. The goal was to design a detector that would be sensitive to X-ray radiation, one that would have a very high spatial resolution in two dimensions, and would be capable of counting the number of photons that hit a given pixel.

Images obtained in the mode of counting individual photons are much more precise, for example in X-ray photos with noticeably higher contrast or important details, which may be essential in many applications, such as medical diagnostics, security screening of luggage at airports, etc. A key result of the collaboration between AGH UST and Rigaku was an integrated circuit having a matrix of 18 thousand pixels, with an individual pixel having the dimensions of 100 x 100 micrometers.

The circuit was able to reliably count several million photons per second independently in each pixel. The invention has been tested at different synchrotrons in the United States and Japan. It was shown to be resistant to harmful X-ray radiation and, as a result, modules composed of several to several dozen such integrated circuits are used in X-ray cameras, such as the Rigaku HyPix-3000 2D Hybrid Pixel Array Detector and Rigaku HyPix-6000HE Hybrid Photon Counting Detector, offering users matrices containing several hundred thousand pixels and active surfaces on an area of several dozen square centimeters.

These detectors can be found in X-ray diffraction systems such as the Rigaku Smartlab automated multipurpose X-ray diffractometer and the Rigaku XtaLAB Synergy series of X-ray diffraction systems for protein crystallography. Thanks to these solutions, Rigaku has achieved great success due to the fact that the cameras the company offers are fast, while able to reduce unwanted background. Additionally, the cameras have a very high dynamic range, and are easily configurable.

Several international patents have arisen from this collaboration, including patents obtained in the USA and Japan.

More information about circuits from AGH UST in devices made by Rigaku Corporation can be found on the University’s science blog. More information about single crystal diffraction solutions from Rigaku is available at http://www.rigaku-od.com/

About Rigaku Oxford Diffraction (ROD)
ROD was formed as the global single crystal business unit of Rigaku Corporation after the acquisition of the former Oxford Diffraction organization from Agilent Technologies in 2015. ROD is a leader in the field of single crystal analysis, both in the field of chemical crystallography as well as well as macromolecular crystallography. Formed in 1951, Rigaku Corporation is a leading analytical instrumentation company based out of Tokyo, Japan.

For further information, contact:

Michael Nelson
Rigaku Global Marketing Group
tel: +1. 512-225-1796