Quantitative proton radiation therapy dosimetry using the storage phosphor europium-doped potassium chloride

Jufri Setianegara, Thomas R. Mazur, Borna Maraghechi, Arash Darafsheh, Deshan Yang, Tianyu Zhao, H. Harold Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: To (a) characterize the fundamental optical and dosimetric properties of the storage phosphor europium-doped potassium chloride for quantitative proton dosimetry, and (b) investigate if its dose radiation response can be described by an analytic radiation transport model. Methods: Cylindrical KCl:Eu2+ dosimeters with dimensions of 6 mm diameter and 1 mm thickness were fabricated in-house. The dosimeters were irradiated using both a Mevion S250 passive scattering proton therapy system and a Varian Clinac iX linear accelerator. Photostimulated luminescence (PSL) emission spectra, excitation spectra, and luminescence lifetimes were measured for both proton and photon irradiations. Dosimetric properties including radiation hardness, dose linearity, signal stabilization, dose rate sensitivity, and energy dependence were studied using a laboratory optical reader after irradiations. The dosimeters were modeled using physical quantities including mass stopping powers in the storage phosphor and water for a given proton beam, and mass energy absorption coefficients and massing stopping powers in detector and water for a given photon beam. Results: KCl:Eu2+ exhibited optical emission and stimulation peaks at 421 and 560 nm, respectively, for both proton and photon irradiations, enabling postirradiation readouts using a visible light source while detecting the PSL using a photomultiplier tube. KCl:Eu2+ showed a linear response from 0 to 8 Gy absorbed dose-to-water, a large dynamic range up to 60 Gy, dose-rate independence measured from 83 to 500 MU/min, and a PSL lifetime of <5 ms that is sufficiently short for supporting rapid scanning in a two-dimensional geometry. KCl:Eu2+ was highly reusable with only a slight signal decrease of ~3% at accumulated doses over 100 Gy, which could be managed by a periodic recalibration. The detected PSL signal strength of the dosimeter in the proton field had been calculated accurately to a maximum discrepancy of 2% using known physical quantities along with its prior signal strength as measured in a photon field at the same dose-to-water. This discrepancy might be attributed to an under-response due to linear energy transfer (LET) effect. However, comparisons of depth-dose measurements in a spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) field with a parallel-plate ionization chamber showed no clear evidence of LET effects. Furthermore, range measurements agreed with ionization chamber measurements to within 1 mm. Conclusions: KCl:Eu2+ showed linear response over a large dynamic range for proton irradiations and reliably reproduced SOBP measurements as measured by ionization chambers. Its relatively low atomic number of 18 and near LET independence make it suited for quantitative proton dosimetry. In addition, its high radiation hardness means that it can be reused numerous times. Any potential measurement artifacts encountered in complex irradiation conditions should be able to be corrected for using known physical quantities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5287-5300
Number of pages14
JournalMedical physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • proton therapy dosimetry
  • radiation therapy dosimetry
  • storage phosphor
  • two-dimensional dosimeter

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