SU-F-T-492: The Impact of Water Temperature On Absolute Dose Calibration




The Task Group 51 (TG 51) protocol prescribes that dose calibration of photon beams be done by irradiating an ionization chamber in a water tank at pre-defined depths. Methodologies are provided to account for variations in measurement conditions by applying correction factors. However, the protocol does not completely account for the impact of water temperature. It is well established that water temperature will influence the density of air in the ion chamber collecting volume. Water temperature, however, will also influence the size of the collecting volume via thermal expansion of the cavity wall and the density of the water in the tank. In this work the overall effect of water temperature on absolute dosimetry has been investigated.


Dose measurements were made using a Farmer-type ion chamber for 6 and 23 MV photon beams with water temperatures ranging from 10 to 40°C. A reference ion chamber was used to account for fluctuations in beam output between successive measurements.


For the same beam output, the dose determined using TG 51 was dependent on the temperature of the water in the tank. A linear regression of the data suggests that the dependence is statistically significant with p-values of the slope equal to 0.003 and 0.01 for 6 and 23 MV beams, respectively. For a 10 degree increase in water phantom temperature, the absolute dose determined with TG 51 increased by 0.27% and 0.31% for 6 and 23 MV beams, respectively.


There is a measurable effect of water temperature on absolute dose calibration. To account for this effect, a reference temperature can be defined and a correction factor applied to account for deviations from this reference temperature during beam calibration. Such a factor is expected to be of similar magnitude to most of the existing TG 51 correction factors.