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Evaluation of moderately cooled pure NaI as a scintillator for position-sensitive PET detectors

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4 Author(s)
Wear, J.A. ; Dept. of Radiol., Pennsylvania Univ., Philadelphia, PA, USA ; Karp, J.S. ; Haigh, A.T. ; Freifelder, R.

A new evaluation of pure NaI has been performed to determine if moderate cooling would lead to better performance than that of existing, activated NaI(Tl) position-sensitive detectors, particularly at high countrates. Using a freezer, an initial effort was performed to cool the crystal assembly to -90°C (183°K). At this temperature, pure NaI has a decay constant of 35 nsec, a light output which is about 20% that of room temperature NaI(Tl), and an energy resolution of 15%. For the authors' PET applications the signal of room temperature (25°C) NaI(Tl) is normally pulse clipped, reducing the light output to 40% of the unclipped signal and yielding an energy resolution of 10.5%. Since the long decay of NaI(Tl) causes it to suffer more significantly than pure NaI from pre-pulse pileup, the difference in energy resolution between the two crystals at high countrates will be reduced. Also, a significantly shorter trigger deadtime with pure NaI will lead to a reduction in coincidence deadtime losses in PET. Computer simulations of large-area crystals operating at high countrates have been performed to quantify their trigger deadtime behavior and position resolution as a function of light output and pulse decay time. Having gained experience with the practical issues of cooling large crystals, measurements of position resolution have been performed with a NaI bar detector of similar geometry to the NaI(Tl) detectors in use in the PENN-PET scanner

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