SU-C-201-01: Investigation of the Effects of Scintillator Surface Treatment On Light Output Measurements with SiPM Detectors




To examine the effect of different scintillator surface treatments (BGO crystals) on the fraction of scintillation photons that exit the crystal and reach the photodetector (SiPM).


Positron Emission Tomography is based on the detection of light that exits scintillator crystals, after annihilation photons deposit energy inside these crystals. A considerable fraction of the scintillation light gets trapped or absorbed after going through multiple internal reflections on the interfaces surrounding the crystals. BGO scintillator crystals generate considerably less scintillation light than crystals made of LSO and its variants. Therefore, it is crucial that the small amount of light produced by BGO exits towards the light detector. The surface treatment of scintillator crystals is among the factors affecting the ability of scintillation light to reach the detectors. In this study, we analyze the effect of different crystal surface treatments on the fraction of scintillation light that is detected by the solid state photodetector (SiPM), once energy is deposited inside a BGO crystal. Simulations were performed by a Monte Carlo based software named GATE, and validated by measurements from individual BGO crystals coupled to Philips digital-SiPM sensor (DPC-3200).


The results showed an increment in light collection of about 4 percent when only the exit face of the BGO crystal, is unpolished; compared to when all the faces are polished. However, leaving several faces unpolished caused a reduction of at least 10 percent of light output when the interaction occurs as far from the exit face of the crystal as possible compared to when it occurs very close to the exit face.


This work demonstrates the advantages on light collection from leaving unpolished the exit face of BGO crystals. The configuration with best light output will be used to obtain flood images from BGO crystal arrays coupled to SiPM sensors.