Sci-Sat AM: Radiation Dosimetry and Practical Therapy Solutions - 11: Commissioning of a system for the measurement of electron stopping powers




To develop the techniques required to experimentally determine electron stopping powers for application in primary standards and dosimetry protocols.

Method and Materials:

A large-volume HPGe detector system (>80% efficiency) was commissioned for the measurement of high energy (5–35 MeV) electron beams. As a proof of principle the system was used with a Y-90/Sr-90 radioactive source. Thin plates of absorbing material (< 0.1 gcm-2) were then placed between the source and detector and the emerging electron spectrum was acquired. The full experimental geometry was modelled using the EGSnrc package to validate the detector design, optimize the experimental setup and compare measured and calculated spectra.


The biggest challenge using a beta source was to identify a robust spectral parameter to determine for each measurement. An end-point-fitting routine was used to determine the maximum energy, Emax, of the beta spectrum for each absorber thickness t. The parameter dEmax/dt is related to the electron stopping power and the same routine was applied to both measured and simulated spectra. Although the standard uncertainty in dEmax/dt was of the order of 5 %, by taking the ratio of measured and Monte Carlo values for dEmax/dt the uncertainty of the fitting routine was eliminated and the uncertainty was reduced to less than 2 %. The agreement between measurement and simulation was within this uncertainty estimate.


The investigation confirmed the experimental approach and demonstrated that EGSnrc could accurately determine correction factors that will be required for the final measurement setup in a linac beam.