SU-E-T-782: Using Light Output From Doped Plastic Scintillators to Resolve the Linear Energy Transfer Spectrum of Clinical Electron Beams




This research seeks to develop a portable, clinically-suitable linear energy transfer (LET) detector. In radiotherapy, absorbed dose is commonly used to measure the amount of delivered radiation, though, it is not a good indicator of actual biological damage. LET is the energy absorbed per unit length by a medium along charged particle's pathway; studies have shown that LET correlates well with relative biological effectiveness (RBE).


According to Birks’ law, light output of plastic scintillators is stopping-power dependent. This dependency can be varied through doping by various high-Z elements. By measuring light output signals of differently doped plastic scintillators (represented by column vector S, where each row corresponds to different scintillator material), the fluence of charged particles of a given LET (represented by column vector Φ, where each row corresponds to different LET bins) can be unfolded by S=R*Φ where R is system response matrix (each row represents a different scintillator, each column corresponds to different electron LET). Monte Carlo (MC) GEANT4.10.1 was used to evaluate ideal detector response of BC408 scintillating material doped with various concentrations of several high Z dopants. Measurements were performed to validate MC.


Signal for 1%-lead doped BC408 and the non-doped scintillator was measured experimentally by guiding light emitted by the scintillator (via in-house made taper, fiber system) to a PMT and then an electrometer. Simulations of 1%Pb-doped scintillator to non-doped scintillator revealed 9.3% reduction in light output for 6 MeV electrons which compared well (within uncertainty) with measurements showing 10% reduction (6MeV electrons).


Measurements were used to validate MC simulation of light output from doped scintillators. The doping of scintillators is a viable technique to induce LET dependence. Our goal is to use this effect to resolve the LET spectrum of an incident beam.