WE-DE-201-10: Pitfalls When Using Ruby as An Inorganic Scintillator Detector for Ir-192 Brachytherapy Dosimetry




To study the promising potential of inorganic scintillator detectors (ISDs) and investigate various unwanted luminescence properties which may compromise their accuracy.


The ISDs were comprised of a ruby crystal coupled to a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) fiber-optic cable and a charged coupled device camera. A new type of ISD was manufactured and included a long-pass filter that was sandwiched between the crystal and the fiber-optic cable. The purpose of the filter was to suppress the Cerenkov and fluorescence background light induced in the PMMA (the stem signal) from striking the ruby crystal, generating unwanted ruby excitation. A variety of experiments were performed to characterize the ruby based ISDs. The relative contribution of the induced ruby signal and the stem signal were quantified while exposing the detector and a bare fiber-optic cable to a high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy (BT) source, respectively. The unwanted ruby excitation was quantified while irradiating the fiber-optic cable with the detector volume shielded. Other experiments addressed time-dependent luminescence properties and a comparison to other commonly used organic scintillator detectors (BCF-12, BCF-60).


When the BT source dwelled 0.5 cm away from the fiber-optic cable, the unwanted ruby excitation amounted to >5% of the total signal if the source-distance from the scintillator was >7 cm. However, the unwanted excitation was suppressed to <1% if the ISD incorporated an optic filter. The stem signal was suppressed with a 20 nm band-pass filter and was <3% as long as the source-distance was <7 cm. The ruby based ISDs generated signal up to 20(40) times that of BCF-12(BCF-60).


The study presents solutions to unwanted luminescence properties of ruby based ISDs for HDR BT. An optic filter should be sandwiched between the scintillator volume and the fiber-optic cable to prevent the stem signal to excite the ruby crystal.