Hydrogenated amorphous silicon high flux x-ray detectors for synchrotron microbeam radiation therapy
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Objective. Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is an alternative emerging radiotherapy treatment modality which has demonstrated effective radioresistant tumour control while sparing surrounding healthy tissue in preclinical trials. This apparent selectivity is achieved through MRT combining ultra-high dose rates with micron-scale spatial fractionation of the delivered x-ray treatment field. Quality assurance dosimetry for MRT must therefore overcome a significant challenge, as detectors require both a high dynamic range and a high spatial resolution to perform accurately. Approach. In this work, a series of radiation hard a-Si:H diodes, with different thicknesses and carrier selective contact configurations, have been characterised for x-ray dosimetry and real-time beam monitoring applications in extremely high flux beamlines utilised for MRT at the Australian Synchrotron. Results. These devices displayed superior radiation hardness under constant high dose-rate irradiations on the order of 6000 Gy s−1, with a variation in response of 10% over a delivered dose range of approximately 600 kGy. Dose linearity of each detector to x-rays with a peak energy of 117 keV is reported, with sensitivities ranging from (2.74 ± 0.02) nC/Gy to (4.96 ± 0.02) nC/Gy. For detectors with 0.8 μm thick active a-Si:H layer, their operation in an edge-on orientation allows for the reconstruction of micron-size beam profiles (microbeams). The microbeams, with a nominal full-width-half-max of 50 μm and a peak-to-peak separation of 400 μm, were reconstructed with extreme accuracy. The full-width-half-max was observed as 55 ± 1 μm. Evaluation of the peak-to-valley dose ratio and dose-rate dependence of the devices, as well as an x-ray induced charge (XBIC) map of a single pixel is also reported. Significance. These devices based on novel a-Si:H technology possess a unique combination of accurate dosimetric performance and radiation resistance, making them an ideal candidate for x-ray dosimetry in high dose-rate environments such as FLASH and MRT.
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Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering