SU-E-T-37: An Optical Investigation Into the Polarization and Scattering Effects Underlying the Artifacts of Radiochromic Film Dosimetry with Commercial Flatbed Scanners




This study aims to investigate the optical properties of radiochromic EBT3 films on exposure to polarized incident light.


An optical table setup was used to investigate the properties of exposed and unexposed EBT3 films. The films were placed with their long side horizontally and illuminated with polarized incident white light. The polarization of light with the electrical vector pointing vertically is referred to as 0°, accordingly horizontal orientation corresponds to 90°. The light transmission was measured depending on the polarization angle of the incident light and the polarization of a polarizer in front of the detector. Secondly, the scattering properties of exposed and unexposed films were measured by placing a plane convex lens behind the films and a screen in its focal plane. Thereby, the distribution of the scattering angles appears as an intensity map on the screen. The distributions of scattering angles caused by EBT3 films and by neutral density filters were compared.


EBT3 films show a strong dependence of the light transmission on the polarization of the incident light. With both polarizers parallel, a peak transmission was found at 90° orientation of the polarizers. With the rear polarizer at right angles with the front polarizer, peak transmissions were found at front polarizer orientations 45° and 135°. The scattering appears to be anisotropic with a preference direction parallel to the long side of the film. The portion of scattered light and the half value scattering angle both increase with the dose on the film.


EBT3 films show dose dependent changes in polarized light transmission and anisotropic light scattering. These effects impair the light absorption measurements on exposed films performed with commercial flatbed scanners and are causing the well-known artifacts of radiochromic film dosimetry with flatbed scanners, the “orientation effect” and the “parabola effect”.