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Phys Med Biol. 2013 Mar 7;58(5):1581-90. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/58/5/1581. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

A method to remove residual signals in fibre optic luminescence dosimeters.

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School of Physics, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


Whenever a fibre optic is used to convey a light signal through a radiation field, it is likely that an unwanted background signal will arise from Cerenkov or fluorescent light which will contaminate the signal. In luminescence dosimetry of high energy beams, when a fibre optic is used to convey the signal from the radiation field to the detector, Cerenkov light is the dominant contributor to the background signal and must be corrected for. In this work, a novel method is demonstrated to separate the signal from the unwanted background. A remotely operated shutter is used to block the signal, allowing the residual background in the fibre optic to be quantified. This background is subtracted from the total measurement acquired in a subsequent irradiation, enabling the luminescence signal to be extracted. Two types of shutter mechanism are considered: an electro-mechanical device to intercept the light path and an LCD device to block the light by cross-polarization. Both shutters were characterized and incorporated into a fibre optic dosimetry system used to measure the radiation dose produced by external beam radiation linear accelerators. The dosimeter using each of the shutters in turn was exposed to a 6 MV photon beam to determine their performance, including the measurement of field size dependent output factors. The mechanical shutter determined the output factors to within 0.29% of those measured with an ionization chamber, whereas the LCD shutter gave results that deviated by up to 2.4%. The switching precision of both shutters was good with standard deviations of less than 0.25% and both were able to completely block the light signal when closed. The use of shutters could therefore be applied to any fibre optic based system to quantify and remove a reproducible background arising from any source including ambient, fluorescent and Cerenkov light.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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