The role of activator concentration and precipitate formation on optical and dosimetric properties of KCl:Eu2+ storage phosphor detectors

Rachael A. Hansel, Zhiyan Xiao, Yanle Hu, Olga Green, Deshan Yang, H. Harold Li

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7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The activator ion (Eu2+ in KCl:Eu2+) plays an important role in the photostimulated luminescence (PSL) mechanism of storage phosphor radiation detectors. In order to design an accurate, effective, and robust detector, it is important to understand how the activator ion concentration affects the structure and, consequently, radiation detection properties of KCl:Eu2+. Methods: Potassium chloride pellets were fabricated with various amounts of europium dopant (0.01-5.0 mol.% Eu 2+). Clinical radiation doses were given with a 6 MV linear accelerator. Radiation doses larger than 100 Gy were given with a 137Cs irradiator. Dose response curves, radiation hardness, and temporal signal stability were measured using a laboratory PSL readout system. The crystal structure of the material was studied using x ray diffraction and luminescence spectroscopy. Results: The most intense PSL signal was from samples with 1.0 mol.% Eu. However, samples with concentrations higher than 0.05 mol.% Eu exhibited significant degradation in PSL intensity for cumulated doses larger than 3000 Gy. Structural and luminescence spectroscopy showed clear evidence of precipitate phases within the KCl lattice, especially for high activator concentrations. Analysis of PL emission spectra showed that interactions between Eu-Vc dipoles and Eu-Vc trimers could explain trends in PSL sensitivity and radiation hardness observations. Conclusions: The concentration of the activator ion (Eu2+) significantly affects radiation detection properties of the storage phosphor KCl:Eu2+. An activator concentration between 0.01 and 0.05 mol.% Eu in KCl:Eu2+ storage phosphor detectors is recommended for linear dose response, good PSL sensitivity, predictable temporal stability, and high reusability for megavoltage radiation detection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number092104
JournalMedical physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • radiation detector
  • radiation hardness
  • storage phosphor


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