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Med Phys. 1993 Jul-Aug;20(4):1079-87.

Considerations on the calibration of small thermoluminescent dosimeters used for measurement of beta particle absorbed doses in liquid environments.

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Division of Radiation Oncology, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California 91010.


An investigation has been carried out on the factors which affect the absolute calibration of thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) used in beta particle absorbed dose evaluations. Four effects on light output (LO) were considered: decay of detector sensitivity with time, finite TLD volume, dose linearity, and energy dependence. Most important of these was the decay of LO with time in culture medium, muscle tissue, and gels. This permanent loss of sensitivity was as large as an order of magnitude over a 21-day interval for the nominally 20-microns-thick disc-shaped CaSO4(Dy) TLDs in gel. Associated leaching of the dosimeter crystals out of the Teflon matrix was observed using scanning electron microscopy. Large channels leading from the outside environment into the TLDs were identified using SEM images. A possibility of batch dependence of fading was indicated. The second most important effect was the apparent reduction of light output due to finite size and increased specific gravity of the dosimeter (volume effect). We estimated this term by calculations as 10% in standard "mini" rods for beta particles from 90Y, but nearly a factor of 3 for 131I beta particles in the same geometry. No significant nonlinearity of the log (light output) with log (absorbed dose) over the range 0.05-20.00 Gy was discovered. Energy dependence of the LO was found to be not detectable, within measurement errors, over the range of 0.60-6.0 MeV mean energy electrons. With careful understanding of these effects, calibration via gel phantom would appear to be an acceptable strategy for mini TLDs used in beta absorbed dose evaluations in media.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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