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Radiation-induced light in optical fibers and plastic scintillators: application to brachytherapy dosimetry

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5 Author(s)
M. R. Arnfield ; Dept. of Radiat. Oncology, Med. Coll. of Virginia, Richmond, VA, USA ; H. E. Gaballa ; R. D. Zwicker ; Q. Islam
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A small plastic scintillator bonded to an optical fiber has several characteristics that make it promising as a brachytherapy dosimeter. In these dosimeters, scintillation light represents signal, whereas Cerenkov and luminescence light from the optical fiber stem is noise that must be subtracted. The dosimeter accuracy can be improved by optically filtering part of the fiber stem light. Spectral measurements were performed to guide the choice of scintillator, fiber, and filter. Spectral signatures and total luminescence of three scintillators and five different silica optical fibers, excited by a 8 Ci 192Ir source, were measured. The total radiation-induced light from the various optical fibers differed by up to a factor of 5.6. The percentage of fiber-produced light due to luminescence varied between 15 and 79%. A fiber with weak emission was used in the dosimeter with BC408S, a scintillator with minimum emission wavelength of 400 mm. A 400-nm cutoff UV filter gave a factor of two increase in signal-to-noise. The dosimeter response was linear for dose rates varying by at least three orders of magnitude, representing source-to-probe distances of 0.2-10 cm. Measurement errors of the dosimeter compare favorably with other brachytherapy dosimeters

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IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 3 )