TH-C-19A-10: Systematic Evaluation of Photodetectors Performances for Plastic Scintillation Dosimetry

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Abstract

Purpose:

To assess and compare the performance of different photodetectors likely to be used in a plastic scintillation detector (PSD).

Methods:

The PSD consists of a 1 mm diameter, 10 mm long plastic scintillation fiber (BCF-60) which is optically coupled to a clear 10 m long optical fiber of the same diameter. A light-tight plastic sheath covers both fibers and the scintillator end is sealed. The clear fiber end is connected to one of the following six studied photodetectors: two polychromatic cameras (one with an optical lens and one with a fiber optic taper replacing the lens); a monochromatic camera with the same optical lens; a PIN photodiode; an avalanche photodiode (APD); and a photomultiplier tube (PMT). Each PSD is exposed to both low energy beams (120, 180, and 220 kVp) from an orthovoltage unit, and high energy beams (6 MV and 23 MV) from a linear accelerator. Various dose rates are explored to identify the photodetectors operating ranges and accuracy.

Results:

For all photodetectors, the relative uncertainty remains under 5 % for dose rates over 3 mGy/s. The taper camera collects four times more signal than the optical lens camera, although its standard deviation is higher since it could not be cooled. The PIN, APD and PMT have higher sensitivity, suitable for low dose rate and out-of-field dose monitoring. PMT's relative uncertainty remains under 1 % at the lowest dose rate achievable (50 μGy/s), suggesting optimal use for live dosimetry.

Conclusion:

A set of 6 photodetectors have been studied over a broad dose rate range at various energies. For dose rate above 3 mGy/s, the PIN diode is the most effective photodetector in term of performance/cost ratio. For lower dose rate, such as those seen in interventional radiology, PMTs are the optimal choice.

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