Dual-storage phosphor proton therapy dosimetry: Simultaneous quantification of dose and linear energy transfer

Jufri Setianegara, Thomas R. Mazur, Deshan Yang, H. Harold Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: To investigate the feasibility of using the high Zeff storage phosphor material BaFBrI:Eu2+ in conjunction with the low Zeff storage phosphor material KCl:Eu2+ for simultaneous proton dose and linear energy transfer (LET) measurements by (a) measuring the fundamental optical and dosimetric properties of BaFBrI:Eu2+, (b) evaluating its compatibility in being readout simultaneously with KCl:Eu2+ dosimeters, and (c) modeling and validating its LET dependence under elevated proton LET irradiation. Methods: A commercial BaFBrI:Eu2+ storage phosphor detector (Model ST-VI, Fujifilm) was characterized with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis to obtain its elemental composition. The dosimeters were irradiated using both a Mevion S250 proton therapy unit (at the center of a spread-out Bragg peak, SOBP) and a Varian Clinac iX linear accelerator with the latter being a low LET irradiation. The photostimulated luminescence (PSL) emission spectra, excitation spectra, and luminescent lifetimes of the detector were measured after proton and photon irradiations. Dosimetric properties including dose linearity, dose rate dependence, radiation hardness, temporal, and readout stabilities were studied using a laboratory optical reader after proton irradiations. In addition, its proton energy dependence was analytically modeled and experimentally validated by irradiating the detectors at various depths within the SOBP (Range: 15.0 g/cm2, Modulation: 10.0 g/cm2). Results: The active detector composition for the high Zeff storage phosphor detector was found to be BaFBr0.85I0.15:Eu2+. The BaFBr0.85I0.15:Eu2+ material’s excitation and emission spectra were in agreement under proton and photon irradiations, with peaks of 586 ± 1 nm and 400 ± 1 nm, respectively, with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 119 ± 3 nm and 30 ± 2 nm, respectively. As dosimeter response under photon irradiation is generally believed to be free from LET effect, these results suggest LET independence of charge storage center types resulted from ionizing radiations. There is sufficient spectral overlaps with KCl:Eu2+ dosimeters allowing both dosimeters to be readout under equivalent readout conditions, that is, 594 nm stimulation and 420 nm detection wavelengths. Its PSL characteristic lifetime was found to be less than 5 microseconds which would make it suitable for fast 2D readout post irradiation. Its 420 nm emission band intensity was found to be linear up to 10 Gy absolute proton dose under the same irradiation conditions, dose rate independent, stable in time and under multiple readouts, and with high radiation hardness under cumulative proton dose histories up to 200 Gy as tested in this study. BaFBr0.85I0.15:Eu2+ showed significant proton energy-dependent dose under-response in regions of high LET which could be modeled by stopping power ratio calculations with an accuracy of 3% in low LET regions and a distance-to-agreement (DTA) of 1 mm in high LET regions (>5 keV/μm). Conclusion: We have proven the feasibility of dual-storage phosphor proton dosimetry for simultaneous proton dose and LET measurements. BaFBr0.85I0.15:Eu2+ has shown equally excellent dosimetry performance as its low Zeff complement KCl:Eu2+ with distinctive LET dependence merely as a result of its higher Zeff. These promising results pave the way for future studies involving simultaneous proton dose and LET measurements using this novel approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1941-1955
Number of pages15
JournalMedical physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • linear energy transfer
  • proton therapy dosimetry
  • storage phosphor


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