Sci-Sat AM: Radiation Dosimetry and Practical Therapy Solutions - 10: Towards LET detection: A study on the effects of scintillator doping




In radiotherapy, the amount of radiation delivered is determined by optimizing the amount of absorbed dose to the tumor. Dose does not always correlate well with the actual biological effects of radiation. This work seeks to validate the LET-dependence of doped plastic scintillators for use in a radiation beam quality (LET) detector.


The LET spectrum ([Φ]) can be resolved knowing the measured signals of uniquely LET-dependent detectors, [S], and the response of each LET-dependent detector to specific LETs ([R]), through the relation [Φ]=[S][R]−1. Plastic scintillator response is intrinsically LET dependent and can be varied via doping. Initial prototype consists of plastic scintillator and glass taper coupled to an optical fiber; components are housed in black acrylic, reducing effect of ambient light. In order to determine [R], the light response matrix, GEANT4.10.1 Monte Carlo (MC) was used. To validate MC, measurements were done using high energy electrons (9,12,15MeV) and orthovoltage x-rays (100,250kV); scintillator signal was normalized to dose measured simultaneously.


Stopping power was varied by changing particle type/energy; measurements indicated that as stopping power increased from 1.9 to 6.6MeV/cm, detector response increased by 263% (+/−29.2%) for 5%Pb-doped scintillator (155% in MC); 52% (+/−7.8%) increase observed when undoped scintillator was used (49% in MC). 5%Pb-doped discrepancy (100kV x-rays) is being investigated.


This work validates that doping effects LET/energy response of scintillators; an effect that can be utilized for construction of an LET detector.