Characterizing the marker-dye correction for Gafchromic® EBT2 film: A comparison of three analysis methods

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Abstract

Purpose:

Gafchromic® EBT2 film has a yellow marker dye incorporated into the active layer of the film that can be used to correct the film response for small variations in thickness. This work characterizes the effect of the marker-dye correction on the uniformity and uncertainty of dose measurements with EBT2 film. The effect of variations in time postexposure on the uniformity of EBT2 is also investigated.

Methods:

EBT2 films were used to measure the flatness of a60Co field to provide a high-spatial resolution evaluation of the film uniformity. As a reference, the flatness of the 60Co field was also measured with Kodak EDR2 films. The EBT2 films were digitized with a flatbed document scanner 24, 48, and 72 h postexposure, and the images were analyzed using three methods: (1) the manufacturer-recommended marker-dye correction, (2) an in-house marker-dye correction, and (3) a net optical density (OD) measurement in the red color channel. The field flatness was calculated from orthogonal profiles through the center of the field using each analysis method, and the results were compared with the EDR2 measurements. Uncertainty was propagated through a dose calculation for each analysis method. The change in the measured field flatness for increasing times postexposure was also determined.

Results:

Both marker-dye correction methods improved the field flatness measured with EBT2 film relative to the net OD method, with a maximum improvement of 1% using the manufacturer-recommended correction. However, the manufacturer-recommended correction also resulted in a dose uncertainty an order of magnitude greater than the other two methods. The in-house marker-dye correction lowered the dose uncertainty relative to the net OD method. The measured field flatness did not exhibit any unidirectional change with increasing time postexposure and showed a maximum change of 0.3%.

Conclusions:

The marker dye in EBT2 can be used to improve the response uniformity of the film. Depending on the film analysis method used, however, application of a marker-dye correction can improve or degrade the dose uncertainty relative to the net OD method. The uniformity of EBT2 was found to be independent of the time postexposure.

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