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Improving KCl:Eu2+ Dosimeter Sensitivity: The Role of Oxygen

Z Xiao

Z Xiao1,2*, T Mazur1 , J Driewer3 , H Li1. (1) Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, (2) Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, (3) University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE


SU-E-T-476 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Recent research has shown that KCl:Eu2+ has great potential for use in megavoltage radiation therapy dosimetry because this material exhibits excellent storage performance and is reusable due to strong radiation hardness. The purpose of this work is to determine if increased signal could be realized in KCl:Eu2+ by incorporating oxygen in the material fabrication process.
Methods: The prototype KCl:Eu2+ dosimeters have a physical makeup similar to thermoluminescent dosimeter chips. The photostimulation light source consists of either a He-Ne laser or a UV enhanced Xe arc lamp with wavelength selection provided by a motorized monochromator. X-ray diffraction is used to determine the phase composition of the dosimeters. Photoluminescence (PL) and photostimulated luminescence (PSL) emission spectra are obtained using a Nanolog Spectrofluoremeter.
Results: Europium activator is completely incorporated into the KCl parent-matrix without the formation of a noticeable secondary phase. Regardless of synthesis atmosphere, air or pure nitrogen, PSL amplitude shows a maximum at 1.0 mol % Eu. Depending on europium concentration, dosimeters fabricated in air exhibit stronger PSL by a factor of 2 to 4 compared to those made in N2. There is no change in PSL stimulation spectrum while noticeable shifts in both PL and PSL emission spectra are observed for air versus nitrogen. Almost all charge-storage centers are spatially correlated, suggesting oxygen’s stabilization role in the PSL process. KCl:Eu2+ made in oxygen-rich air is capable of measuring a dose-to-water as low as 0.01 cGy from a 6MV photon beam with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 6.
Conclusions: Synthesis in a reduction atmosphere, for example, nitrogen, was thought to be mandatory in order to retain europium activator’s divalent status to be PSL active. Fortunately, divalent europium can be well preserved in an oxygen-rich atmosphere. More importantly, oxygen can enhance PSL by a factor of 2 to 4.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: HL is the founder of DoseImaging, LLC that is exclusively dedicated to commercializing this technology.

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