This work addresses purpose-made thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLD) based on doped silica fibres and sol–gel nanoparticles, produced via Modified Chemical Vapour Deposition (MCVD) and wet chemistry techniques respectively. These seek to improve upon the versatility offered by conventional phosphor-based TLD forms such as that of doped LiF. Fabrication and irradiation-dependent factors are seen to produce defects of differing origin, influencing the luminescence of the media. In coming to a close, we illustrate the utility of Ge-doped silica media for ionizing radiation dosimetry, first showing results from gamma-irradiated Ag-decorated nanoparticles, in the particular instance pointing to an extended dynamic range of dose. For the fibres, at radiotherapy dose levels, we show high spatial resolution (0.1 mm) depth-dose results for proton irradiations. For novel microstructured fibres (photonic crystal fibres, PCFs) we show first results from a study of undisturbed and technologically modified naturally occurring radioactivity environments, measuring doses of some 10 s of μGy over a period of several months.
Graphite ion chambers and semiconductor diode detectors have been used to make measurements in phantoms but these active devices represent a clear disadvantage when considered for in vivo dosimetry. In such circumstance, dosimeters with atomic number similar to human tissue are needed. Carbon nanotubes have properties that potentially meet the demand, requiring low voltage in active devices and an atomic number similar to adipose tissue. In this study, single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) buckypaper has been used to measure the beta particle dose deposited from a strontium-90 source, the medium displaying thermoluminescence at potentially useful sensitivity. As an example, the samples show a clear response for a dose of 2Gy. This finding suggests that carbon nanotubes can be used as a passive dosimeter specifically for the high levels of radiation exposures used in radiation therapy. Furthermore, the finding points towards further potential applications such as for space radiation measurements, not least because the medium satisfies a demand for light but strong materials of minimal capacitance.
Using irradiated doped-silica preforms from which fibres for thermoluminescence dosimetry applications can be fabricated we have carried out a range of luminescence studies, the TL yield of the fibre systems offering many advantages over conventional passive dosimetry types. In this paper we investigate such media, showing emission spectra for irradiated preforms and the TL response of glass beads following irradiation to an (241)Am-Be neutron source located in a tank of water, the glass fibres and beads offering the advantage of being able to be placed directly into liquid. The outcomes from these and other lines of research are intended to inform development of doped silica radiation dosimeters of versatile utility, extending from environmental evaluations through to clinical and industrial applications.
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), a non-invasive therapeutic technique, seeks delivery of elevated doses of ionizing radiation to precisely defined targets while at the same time preserving surrounding tissue viability. SRS was developed for treatment of various functional abnormalities, extending also to benign and malignant lesions (the latter sometimes referred to as stereotactic body radiation therapy, SBRT). Local tumour control for single and multiple brain metastases at low complication rates is one such outcome. Notable commercial SRS platforms include Gamma Knife and the linac-based systems, Novalis and Cyberknife. Such systems use imaging techniques that include computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in localizing SRS targets, down to a small fraction of one mm. With a wide range of platforms for delivery of SRS, greater investigation and standardization is called for. Present work concerns a multi-centre dosimetric audit (20 centres in all), investigating the range of SRS machines and techniques for a single brain metastasis using a series of small dimension detectors (1.55 mm and less) and an anthropomorphic head phantom. With the lens as one of the more radiosensitive tissues, the aim has been to determine the scattered radiation lens dose received during an SRS treatment, as well as the imaging dose received during planning-stage CT-scanning. Custom-designed holders were fabricated to carry three types of thermoluminescence dosimeters: Ge-doped silica fibres, silica glass beads and TLD-100, the latter as a reference dosimeter (being also of larger dimension than the silica-based dosimeters). For reproducible placement of the TLD holders, a bespoke 3D-printed goggle insert was produced for the head phantom. International guidance is to seek reduction in lens dose down to 0.5 Gy. Present results show lens dose values below 0.5 Gy, albeit sometimes to modest degree, there being need to continue to exercise associated due care in SRS planning and delivery.
As a result of their thermoluminescent response, low cost commercial glass beads have been demonstrated to offer potential use as radiation dosimeters, providing capability in sensing different types of ionising radiation. With a linear response over a large range of dose and spatial resolution that allows measurements down to the order of 1 mm, their performance renders them of interest in situations in which sensitivity, dynamic range, and fine spatial resolution are called for. In the present work, the suitability of glass beads for characterisation of an AmericiumBeryllium (241AmBe) neutron source has been assessed. Direct comparison has been made using conventional 3He and boron tri-fluoride neutron detectors as well as Monte Carlo simulation. Good agreement is obtained between the glass beads and gas detectors in terms of general reduction of count rate with distance. Furthermore, the glass beads demonstrate exceptional spatial resolution, leading to the observation of fine detail in the plot of dose versus distance from source. Fine resolution peaks arising in the measured plots, also present in simulations, are interesting features which based on our best knowledge have previously not been reported. The features are reproduced in both experiment and simulation but we do not have a firm reason for their origin. Of greater clarity is that the glass beads have considerable potential for use in high spatial resolution neutron field characterisation, subject to the availability of a suitable automated TLD reader.