Argon/propane ionization-chamber dosimetry for mixed x-ray/neutron fields



The photoneutrons produced by high-energy x-ray machines can diffuse through the mazes usually employed at the treatment-room entrance and readily penetrate the lead-lined doors used for x-ray shielding. The measurement of these neutrons in the presence of x rays and the determination of dose equivalent poses a problem for which there is currently no standard method of solution. In order to separate x-ray dose from neutron dose, the author employed an ionization chamber alternately filled with argon or propane. The response characteristics of this chamber to x ray and neutrons are described. Quality factors were determined from a calculated neutron spectrum. As a result of these measurements, a 10-in. polyethylene door was added to the entranceway of a 25-MV linear accelerator.