The purpose of this investigation was to assess the angular dependence of a commercial optically stimulated luminescence dosimeter (OSLD) dosimetry system in MV x-ray beams at depths beyonddmax and to find ways to mitigate this dependence for measurements in phantoms.
Two special holders were designed which allow a dosimeter to be rotated around the center of its sensitive volume. The dosimeter's sensitive volume is a disk, 5 mm in diameter and 0.2 mm thick. The first holder rotates the disk in the traditional way. It positions the disk perpendicular to the beam (gantry pointing to the floor) in the initial position (0°). When the holder is rotated the angle of the disk towards the beam increases until the disk is parallel with the beam (“edge on,” 90°). This is referred to as Setup 1. The second holder offers a new, alternative measurement position. It positions the disk parallel to the beam for all angles while rotating around its center (Setup 2). Measurements with five to ten dosimeters per point were carried out for 6 MV at 3 and 10 cm depth. Monte Carlo simulations using GEANT4 were performed to simulate the response of the active detector material for several angles. Detector and housing were simulated in detail based on microCT data and communications with the manufacturer. Various material compositions and an all-water geometry were considered.
For the traditional Setup 1 the response of the OSLD dropped on average by 1.4% ± 0.7% (measurement) and 2.1% ± 0.3% (Monte Carlo simulation) for the 90° orientation compared to 0°. Monte Carlo simulations also showed a strong dependence of the effect on the composition of the sensitive layer. Assuming the layer to completely consist of the active material (Al2O3) results in a 7% drop in response for 90° compared to 0°. Assuming the layer to be completely water, results in a flat response within the simulation uncertainty of about 1%. For the new Setup 2, measurements and Monte Carlo simulations found the angular dependence of the dosimeter to be below 1% and within the measurement uncertainty.
The dosimeter system exhibits a small angular dependence of approximately 2% which needs to be considered for measurements involving other than normal incident beams angles. This applies in particular to clinicalin vivo measurements where the orientation of the dosimeter is dictated by clinical circumstances and cannot be optimized as otherwise suggested here. When measuring in a phantom, the proposed new setup should be considered. It changes the orientation of the dosimeter so that a coplanar beam arrangement always hits the disk shaped detector material from the thin side and thereby reduces the angular dependence of the response to within the measurement uncertainty of about 1%. This improvement makes the dosimeter more attractive for clinical measurements with multiple coplanar beams in phantoms, as the overall measurement uncertainty is reduced. Similarly, phantom based postal audits can transition from the traditional TLD to the more accurate and convenient OSLD.