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Phys Med Biol. 2014 Jul 7;59(13):3421-30. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/59/13/3421. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

A new dual threshold time-over-threshold circuit for fast timing in PET.

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Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.


Time-over-threshold (ToT) is attractive as a method of combined timing and energy encoding in positron emission tomography (PET) due to its simplicity in implementation and readout. However, conventional single threshold ToT has a nonlinear response and generally suffers from a tradeoff between timing and energy resolution. The resulting poor performance is not fit for applications requiring fast timing, such as time-of-flight (ToF) PET. In this work it is shown experimentally that by replacing single threshold ToT with a dual threshold method in a new compact circuit, excellent time resolution can be achieved (154 ps FWHM for 3 × 3 × 5 mm(3) LYSO crystals), suitable for ToF. Dual threshold ToT timing results have been compared to a similar single threshold design, demonstrating that dual threshold ToT performance is far superior to that of single threshold ToT (154 ps versus 418 ps coincidence time resolution for the dual and single threshold cases, respectively). A method of correcting for nonlinearity in dual threshold ToT energy spectra is also demonstrated.

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