26 September 2013 Laser pixelation of thick scintillators for medical imaging applications: x-ray studies
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To achieve high spatial resolution required in nuclear imaging, scintillation light spread has to be controlled. This has been traditionally achieved by introducing structures in the bulk of scintillation materials; typically by mechanical pixelation of scintillators and fill the resultant inter-pixel gaps by reflecting materials. Mechanical pixelation however, is accompanied by various cost and complexity issues especially for hard, brittle and hygroscopic materials. For example LSO and LYSO, hard and brittle scintillators of interest to medical imaging community, are known to crack under thermal and mechanical stress; the material yield drops quickly with large arrays with high aspect ratio pixels and therefore the pixelation process cost increases. We are utilizing a novel technique named Laser Induced Optical Barriers (LIOB) for pixelation of scintillators that overcomes the issues associated with mechanical pixelation. In this technique, we can introduce optical barriers within the bulk of scintillator crystals to form pixelated arrays with small pixel size and large thickness. We applied LIOB to LYSO using a high-frequency solid-state laser. Arrays with different crystal thickness (5 to 20 mm thick), and pixel size (0.8×0.8 to 1.5×1.5 mm2) were fabricated and tested. The width of the optical barriers were controlled by fine-tuning key parameters such as lens focal spot size and laser energy density. Here we report on LIOB process, its optimization, and the optical crosstalk measurements using X-rays. There are many applications that can potentially benefit from LIOB including but not limited to clinical/pre-clinical PET and SPECT systems, and photon counting CT detectors.
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Hamid Sabet, Hamid Sabet, Haris Kudrolli, Haris Kudrolli, Zsolt Marton, Zsolt Marton, Bipin Singh, Bipin Singh, Vivek V. Nagarkar, Vivek V. Nagarkar, "Laser pixelation of thick scintillators for medical imaging applications: x-ray studies", Proc. SPIE 8853, Medical Applications of Radiation Detectors III, 88530B (26 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2029778; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2029778


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