WE-DE-201-05: Evaluation of a Windowless Extrapolation Chamber Design and Monte Carlo Based Corrections for the Calibration of Ophthalmic Applicators




To test the validity of a windowless extrapolation chamber used to measure surface dose rate from planar ophthalmic applicators and to compare different Monte Carlo based codes for deriving correction factors.


Dose rate measurements were performed using a windowless, planar extrapolation chamber with a 90Sr/90Y Tracerlab RA-1 ophthalmic applicator previously calibrated at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Capacitance measurements were performed to estimate the initial air gap width between the source face and collecting electrode. Current was measured as a function of air gap, and Bragg-Gray cavity theory was used to calculate the absorbed dose rate to water. To determine correction factors for backscatter, divergence, and attenuation from the Mylar entrance window found in the NIST extrapolation chamber, both EGSnrc Monte Carlo user code and Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code (MCNP) were utilized. Simulation results were compared with experimental current readings from the windowless extrapolation chamber as a function of air gap. Additionally, measured dose rate values were compared with the expected result from the NIST source calibration to test the validity of the windowless chamber design.


Better agreement was seen between EGSnrc simulated dose results and experimental current readings at very small air gaps (<100 µm) for the windowless extrapolation chamber, while MCNP results demonstrated divergence at these small gap widths. Three separate dose rate measurements were performed with the RA-1 applicator. The average observed difference from the expected result based on the NIST calibration was −1.88% with a statistical standard deviation of 0.39% (k=1).


EGSnrc user code will be used during future work to derive correction factors for extrapolation chamber measurements. Additionally, experiment results suggest that an entrance window is not needed in order for an extrapolation chamber to provide accurate dose rate measurements for a planar ophthalmic applicator.