A readout electronics scheme is under development for high resolution, compact PET (positron emission tomography) imagers based on LSO (lutetium ortho-oxysilicate, Lu.sub.2SiO.sub.5) scintillator and avalanche photodiode (APD) arrays. The key is to obtain sufficient timing and energy resolution at a low power level, less than about 30 mW per channel, including all required functions. To this end, a simple leading edge level crossing discriminator is used, in combination with a transimpedance preamplifier. The APD used has a gain of order 1,000, and an output noise current of several pA/ Hz, allowing bipolar technology to be used instead of CMOS, for increased speed and power efficiency. A prototype of the preamplifier and discriminator has been constructed, achieving timing resolution of 1.5 ns FWHM, 2.7 ns full width at one tenth maximum, relative to an LSO/PMT detector, and an energy resolution of 13.6% FWHM at 511 keV, while operating at a power level of 22 mW per channel. Work is in progress towards integration of this preamplifier and discriminator with appropriate coincidence logic and amplitude measurement circuits in an ASIC suitable for a high resolution compact PET instrument. The detector system and/or ASIC can also be used for many other applications for medical to industrial imaging.
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS NOTICE
 There invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract Numbers DE-FG03-00ER83058 and DE-FG03-00ER83058/A002, both awarded by Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention.