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Journal of Medical Imaging

Reaching 200-ps timing resolution in a time-of-flight and depth-of-interaction positron emission tomography detector using phosphor-coated crystals and high-density silicon photomultipliers
Author(s): Sun II Kwon; Alessandro Ferri; Alberto Gola; Eric Berg; Claudio Piemonte; Simon R. Cherry; Emilie Roncali
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Paper Abstract

Current research in the field of positron emission tomography (PET) focuses on improving the sensitivity of the scanner with thicker detectors, extended axial field-of-view, and time-of-flight (TOF) capability. These create the need for depth-of-interaction (DOI) encoding to correct parallax errors. We have proposed a method to encode DOI using phosphor-coated crystals. Our initial work using photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) demonstrated the possibilities of the proposed method, however, a major limitation of PMTs for this application is poor quantum efficiency in yellow light, corresponding to the wavelengths of the converted light by the phosphor coating. In contrast, the red-green-blue-high-density (RGB-HD) silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) have a high photon detection efficiency across the visible spectrum. Excellent coincidence resolving time (CRT; <210  ps) was obtained by coupling RGB-HD SiPMs and  3 × 3 × 20  mm3 lutetium fine silicate crystals coated on a third of one of their lateral sides. Events were classified in three DOI bins (∼6.7-mm width) with an average sensitivity of 83.1%. A CRT of ∼200  ps combined with robust DOI encoding is a marked improvement in the phosphor-coated approach that we pioneered. For the first time, we read out these crystals with SiPMs and clearly demonstrated the potential of the RGB-HD SiPMs for this TOF-DOI PET detector.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 November 2016
PDF: 7 pages
J. Med. Img. 3(4) 043501 doi: 10.1117/1.JMI.3.4.043501
Published in: Journal of Medical Imaging Volume 3, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Sun II Kwon, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Alessandro Ferri, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy)
Alberto Gola, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy)
Eric Berg, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Claudio Piemonte, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy)
Simon R. Cherry, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
Emilie Roncali, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)


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