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Phys Med Biol. 2012 Jul 21;57(14):4461-76. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/57/14/4461. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Characterizing the influence of detector density on dosimeter response in non-equilibrium small photon fields.

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Department of Physics, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Clatterbridge Road, Bebington Wirral, UK.


The impact of density and atomic composition on the dosimetric response of various detectors in small photon radiation fields is characterized using a 'density-correction' factor, F(detector), defined as the ratio of Monte Carlo calculated doses delivered to water and detector voxels located on-axis, 5 cm deep in a water phantom with a SSD of 100 cm. The variation of F(detector) with field size has been computed for detector voxels of various materials and densities. For ion chambers and solid-state detectors, the well-known variation of F(detector) at small field sizes is shown to be due to differences between the densities of detector active volumes and water, rather than differences in atomic number. However, associated changes in the measured shapes of small-field profiles offset these variations in F(detector), so that integral doses measured using the different detectors are quite similar, at least for slit fields. Since changes in F(detector) with field size arise primarily from differences between the densities of the detector materials and water, ideal small-field relative dosimeters should have small active volumes and water-like density.

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