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A Customized Radiation Sensor for Ionization Collection

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4 Author(s)
Jiazhi Ma ; Dept. of Syst. Design Eng., Waterloo Univ., Ont. ; Yeow, J.T.W. ; Chow, J.C.L. ; Barnett, R.B.

The measurement of absorbed doses is fundamental to radiation biology and oncology. A customized parallel plate radiation sensor was designed and fabricated as a precursor to investigating novel materials, such as carbon nanotubes, as a substitute for conventional metallic conducting plates or active volume medium. This sensor contains two thick and large-area electrodes that provide the sensor with a good signal-to-noise ratio. The 6 MV and 15 MV photon beams produced by a Varian Clinac 21 EX medical linear accelerator were used in the experiments. The linear accelerator was calibrated such that 1 monitor unit (MU) produces 1 cGy of dose in water with depth of 5 cm for a calibration geometry of source-to-axis distance equal to 100 cm and 10times10 cm2 field size at the point of measurement. Ionization measurements were performed by varying the bias voltages, electrode separations, exposures, and angles of the incident beam to characterize the sensor. Signal saturation characteristics of the sensor with different electrode separations and exposures were investigated. This sensor displayed excellent linear response to exposure up to 600 MU. An analytical modeling using the pencil beam model and simulations based on device configuration were given to explain the results. In oblique incident beam experiments, the prototype sensor showed an accurate response compared to simulation results for a small field size of 1times1 cm2. The sensor was tested to be suitable in the study of ionization collection efficiencies for different materials

Published in:

Sensors Journal, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 6 )