Instrumentation and Dosimeter-Size Artifacts in Quantitative Thermoluminescence Dosimetry of low-dose fields

Ali S. Meigooni, Vivek Mishra, Jeffrey Williamson

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62 Scopus citations


Thermoluminescence dosimetry is extensively used for quantitative dose measurements in various irradiation fields such as dosimetry of brachytherapy sources. In this application, small doses on the order of 0.5 cGy must be accurately measured, which requires careful control of instrumentation, energy-dependence, and nonlinearity of detector response. Several investigators have observed the presence of some undesirable signals when the thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) were read without any nitrogen gas flow in the TLD reader. Others have indicated that the “prereadout” annealing technique is the same as the “preirradiation” technique for doses above 10 cGy, but they have not extended their study to lower doses. The goal of this study is to investigate dependence of sensitivity and linearity of the TLD response to the flow of nitrogen gas in the TLD reader at low dose level, annealing technique, and TLD size. The effect of nitrogen flow sensitivity and linearity of two different sizes of lithium fluoride TLD-100 chips has been studied. Our data indicate a large standard deviation of TLD sensitivity, up to a factor of 2, when TLDs were read without nitrogen gas flow in the TLD reader. In addition, a large deviation from linearity was observed for doses below 5 cGy. When the reading-chamber was purged with nitrogen gas, dispersion of the responses of the TLDs that were exposed to the same dose fell to within 5%. At precision levels of 2% and 5%, the low dose limits are 1 cGy and 0.5 cGy, respectively, for large chips and 15 cGy and 1 cGy for small chips, if TLDs are read with nitrogen gas flow in the TLD reader. The full results of our investigation are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages7
JournalMedical physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1995


  • TLD
  • brachytherapy
  • dosimetry
  • thermoluminescence


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