Small field diode correction factors derived using an air core fibre optic scintillation dosimeter and EBT2 film
There is no commercially available real-time dosimeter that can accurately measure output factors for field sizes down to 4 mm without the use of correction factors. Silicon diode detectors are commonly used but are not dosimetrically water equivalent, resulting in energy dependence and fluence perturbation. In contrast, plastic scintillators are nearly dosimetrically water equivalent. A fibre optic dosimeter (FOD) with a 0.8 mm3 plastic scintillator coupled to an air core light guide was used to measure the output factors for Novalis/BrainLab stereotactic cones of diameter 4-30 mm and Novalis MLC fields of width 5-100 mm. The FOD data matched the output factors measured by a 0.125 cm3 Semiflex ion chamber for the MLC fields above 30 mm and those measured with the EBT2 radiochromic film for the cones and MLC fields below 30 mm. Relative detector readings were obtained with four diode types (IBA SFD, EFD, PFD, PTW 60012) for the same fields. Empirical diode correction factors were determined by taking the ratio of FOD output factors to diode relative detector readings. The diodes were found to over-respond by 3%-16% for the smallest field. There was good agreement between different diodes of the same model number.