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Experimental Characterization of a Novel Thermal Reservoir for Consistent and Accurate Annealing of High-Sensitivity TLDs

W Donahue

W Donahue1*, P Bongiorni1, R Hearn2, J Rodgers2, R Nath1, Z Chen1, (1)Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (2) Theragenics Corporation, Atlanta, GA

SU-E-T-112 Sunday 3:00:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To develop and characterize a novel thermal reservoir for consistent and accurate annealing of high-sensitivity thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD-100H) for dosimetry of brachytherapy sources.

Methods: The sensitivity of TLD-100H is about 18 times that of TLD-100 which has clear advantages in for interstitial brachytherapy sources. However, the TLD-100H requires a short high temperature annealing cycle (15 min.) and opening and closing the oven door causes significant temperature fluctuations leading to unreliable measurements. A new thermal reservoir made of aluminum alloy was developed to provide stable temperature environment in a standard hot air oven. The thermal reservoir consisted of a 20 cm x 20 cm x 8 cm Al block with a machine-milled chamber in the middle to house the aluminum TLD holding tray. The thermal reservoir was placed inside the oven until it reaches thermal equilibrium with oven chamber. The temperatures of the oven chamber, heat reservoir, and TLD holding tray were monitored by two independent thermo-couples which interfaced digitally to a control computer. A LabView interface was written for monitoring and recording the temperatures in TLD holding tray, the thermal reservoir, and oven chamber. The temperature profiles were measured as a function of oven-door open duration. The settings for oven chamber temperature and oven door open-close duration were optimized to achieve a stable temperature of 240 0C in the TLD holding tray. Complete temperature profiles of the TLD annealing tray over the entire annealing process were obtained.

Results: A LabView interface was written for monitoring and recording the temperatures in TLD holding The use of the thermal reservoir has significantly reduced the temperature fluctuations caused by the opening of oven door when inserting the TLD holding tray into the oven chamber. It has enabled consistent annealing of high-sensitivity TLDs.

Conclusions: A comprehensive characterization of a custom-built novel thermal reservoir for annealing high-sensitivity TLD has been carried out. It enabled consistent and accurate annealing of high-sensitivity TLDs which could significantly improve the efficiency of brachytherapy source characterizations.

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