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Phys Med Biol. 2003 May 7;48(9):1141-52.

Plastic scintillation dosimetry: optimization of light collection efficiency.

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Department of Radiation Physics, Division of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX, USA.


Practical contemporary radiotherapy dosimetry systems used for dose measurement and verification are ionization chambers (which typically have at least a 0.1 cm3 air cavity volume), thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) and silicon diodes. However, during the last decade, there has been an increased interest in scintillation dosimetry using small water-equivalent plastic scintillators, due to their favourable characteristics when compared with other more commonly used detector systems. Although plastic scintillators have been shown to have many desirable dosimetric properties, as yet there is no successful commercial detector system of this type available for routine clinical use in radiation oncology. The objectives of this study are to identify the factors preventing this new technology from realizing its full potential in commercial applications. A definition of signal to noise ratio (S/N) will be proposed for this category of detectors. In doing so the S/N ratio for an early prototype design has been calculated and/or measured. Criteria to optimize the response and sensitivity of this category of detectors are presented.

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