Radioluminescence : A simple model for fluorescent layers - analysis and applications

Sammanfattning: A phosphor or scintillator is a material that will emit visible light when struck by ionising radiation. In the early days of diagnostic radiology, it was discovered that the radiation dose needed to get an image on a film, could be greatly reduced by inserting a fluorescent layer of a phosphor in direct contact with the film. Thus, introducing the step of converting the ionising radiation to light in a first step. Going forward in time, film has been replaced with photodetectors and there is now a variety of imaging x-ray systems, still based on phosphors and scintillators. There is continuous research going on to optimise between the radiation dose needed and a sufficient image quality. These factors tend to be in opposition to each other. It is a complicated task to optimise these imaging system and new phosphor materials emerges regularly. One of the key factors is the efficiency of the conversion from xrays to light. In this work this is denoted “extrinsic efficiency”. It is important since it largely determines the final dose to the patient needed for the imaging task. Most imaging x-ray detectors are based on phosphor or scintillator types where their imaging performance has been improved through tweaking of various parameters (light guide structure, higher density, light emission spectrum matching to photodetectors, delayed fluorescence quenching etc) One key factor that largely determines the extrinsic efficiency of a specific phosphor is the particle size. Larger particles result in a higher luminance of the phosphor for the same radiation dose as does as a thicker phosphor layer (to a limit). There exists already a battery of models describing various phosphor qualities. However, particle size and thickness have not been treated as a fully independent variables in previous model works. Indirectly, the influence of these parameters is accounted for, but the existing models were either considered too general, containing several complex parameters and factors to cover all kind of cases or too highly specialised to be easily applicable to fluorescent detectors in diagnostic radiology. The aim of this thesis is therefore to describe and assess a simple model denoted the “LAC-model” (after the original authors Lindström and Alm Carlsson), developed for a fluorescent layer using individual sub-layers defined by the particle size diameter. The model is thought to be a tool for quickly evaluating various particle size and fluorescent layer thickness combinations for a chosen phosphor and design. It may also serve as a more intuitive description of the underlying parameters influencing the final extrinsic efficiency. Further tests affirmed the validity of the model through measurements. The LACmodel produced results deviating a maximum of +5 % from luminescence measurements. During the development of the model various assumptions and simplifications were made. One assumption was the absence of a so called “dead layer”. This is a layer supposedly surrounding each particle decreasing the efficiency of converting x-rays to light. It is not completely “dead” as in inactive but is thought to have a reduced efficiency. This phenomenon was struggled with, when historically designing electron beam stimulated phosphors for various applications (i.e. displays, TV tubes etc). There are also articles reporting dead layer influence for x-ray detectors (usually spectrometers i.e. not for imaging). By introducing a dead layer in the LAC-model the effect of the layer was investigated and was found to result in a change of less than 8% for the extrinsic efficiency. It was also noted that sometimes a dead layer effect may emerge at surfaces of a scintillator slab but not necessarily connected to the phosphor particles themselves. Due to differences between phosphor material and the surroundings, an interface effect arose to compete with the process of inherent dead layers of the individual particles. It was found to be mostly negligible for x-rays in the studied energy and material range. However, an effect was shown for electrons as incident ionising radiation which could shed some light on the strangely neglected apparent dead layer created this way. Finally, applications, one involving developing a prototype for checking the light field radiation field coincidence, were evaluated for overall performance and the optimisation level of the applied fluorescent layer. Interesting findings were made during the development process: for the first time to the knowledge of the author, focus shift wandering was quantified in the corresponding movement of the x-ray field edge and a non-trivial discussion on the concept of an apparent light field edge resulted in a modified definition of the same.  

  Denna avhandling är EVENTUELLT nedladdningsbar som PDF. Kolla denna länk för att se om den går att ladda ner.