IEEE 2021 NSS MIC

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Fast-timing scintillation detectors in PET (positron emission tomography) and other applications

Session chair: Schaart , Dennis R. (Delft University of Technology, Medical Physics & Technology, Delft, Netherlands)
 
Shortcut: SC-06
Date: Sunday, 17 October, 2021, 8:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Room: SC-03
Session type: Short Course

Remarkable progress is being made with regard to the timing performance of scintillation detectors. For example, the time resolution of clinical time-of-flight PET systems has improved from 500 - 700 ps FWHM in the second half of the 2000s to about 200 ps FWHM for the latest available systems. In the laboratory, coincident detection of annihilation photon pairs with a time resolution of about 30 ps FWHM has recently been demonstrated. These advancements are driven by innovations in scintillation materials, photosensors, readout electronics, detector design, and signal processing. In addition to medical applications, the results of these developments can be applied in many other domains, such as materials science, nuclear physics, and high-energy physics.

The improvement of scintillation detector time resolution requires the optimization of the entire detection chain. A sound understanding of the underlying physics and statistics greatly facilitates such efforts. Therefore, a substantial part of the course will be devoted to the theory of scintillation detector time resolution. It will be shown how the physical limits of time resolution are governed by scintillation photon counting statistics and, as such, by fundamental properties of the scintillator (such as its light yield and pulse shape) and the photosensor (e.g. its photodetection efficiency and single-photon time resolution).

Based on the insights offered by this analysis, we will study the history, state-of-the-art, and ongoing developments in scintillation materials and photosensors. Special attention will be paid to detectors based on silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs), as the introduction of this new light sensing technology has been a main driver of time resolution improvement since several years. Attention will also be paid to the increasing importance of detector design, which affects the kinetics of scintillation photon transport, as well as on the possibilities to mitigate the resulting loss of time information though the concept of time resolution recovery.

Contents

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8:00 AM SC-06-01

Fast-timing scintillation detectors in PET (positron emission tomography) and other applications (#1476)

D. R. Schaart1

1 Delft University of Technology, Medical Physics & Technology, Delft, Netherlands

Abstract

The course consists of three parts:

  1. Introduction to fast timing in PET and other applications
  2. Theory of scintillation detector time resolution
  3. Scintillators and photosensors in fast timing detectors
Biography

Dennis R. Schaart heads the Medical Physics & Technology section at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). He worked in academia as well as in the medical device industry, always at the intersection of physics, technology, and medicine. He started as an R&D physicist at Nucletron (now Elekta), where he developed new devices for radiotherapy. He obtained his doctoral degree (with highest honors) in 2002. He then joined TU Delft to set up a new research line on in-vivo molecular imaging technology, with special focus on ultrafast detectors for time-of-flight positron emission tomography (TOF-PET). His team was among the first to explore the use of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) in TOF-PET and has published many works on the fundamentals of SiPM-based detectors and the theory of scintillation detector timing. Dennis’ current research interests range from novel molecular imaging technologies to image guidance in radiotherapy. He leads the Technology for Oncology programme of the TU Delft Health Initiative and serves as a member of the R&D Program Board of the Holland Particle Therapy Centre (HollandPTC). He has (co-)authored more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and is a frequently invited speaker.

Keywords: Short Course
9:15 AM SC-06-02

Break

9:30 AM SC-06-03

Fast-timing scintillation detectors in PET (positron emission tomography) and other applications (Part II) (#1586)

D. R. Schaart1

1 Delft University of Technology, Medical Physics & Technology, Delft, Netherlands

 
10:45 AM SC-06-04

Q&A


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