A novel silicon array designed for intraoperative charged particle imaging

Authors


Abstract

A novel Si-PIN imaging array is under investigation for a charged particle (beta, positron, or alpha) sensitive intraoperative camera to be used for (residual) tumor identification during surgery. This class of collimator-less nuclear imaging device has a higher signal response for direct interactions than its scintillator-optical detector-based counterparts. Monte Carlo simulations with 635 keV betas were performed, yielding maximum and projected ranges of 1.64 and 0.55 mm in Si. Up to 90% of these betas were completely absorbed in the first 0.30 mm. Based on these results, 300 μm thick prototype Si detector arrays were designed in a 16×16 crossed-grid arrangement with 0.8 mm wide orthogonal strips on 1.0 mm pitch. A NIM- and CAMAC-based high-density data acquisition and processing system was used to collect the list mode data. The system was calibrated by comparisons of measured spectra to energy deposition simulations or by direct measurement of various >100 keV conversion electron or beta emitters. Mean electronic noise per strip was <3.6 keV FWHM at room temperature. When detecting positrons, which have an accompanying 511 keV annihilation background, the flood irradiated beta/gamma ratio was ∼40, indicating that beta images could be made without the use of background rejection techniques. The intrinsic spatial resolution corresponds to the 1×1 mm2 pixel size, and measurements of beta emitting point and line sources yielded FWHM resolutions of 1.5 (lateral) and 2.5 mm (diagonal), respectively, with the larger widths due to particle range blurring effects. Deconvolution of the finite source size yielded intrinsic resolutions that corresponded to the image pixel size. Transmission images of circle and line phantoms with various hole sizes and pitch were resolved with either pure beta or positron irradiation without a background correction. This novel semiconductor imaging device facilitates high charged particle and low gamma sensitivity, high signal/noise ratio, and allows for compact design to potentially aid surgical guidance by providing in situ images of clinical relevance.

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