23 March 2017 Highly multiplexed signal readout for a time-of-flight positron emission tomography detector based on silicon photomultipliers
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Maintaining excellent timing resolution in the generation of silicon photomultiplier (SiPM)-based time-of-flight positron emission tomography (TOF-PET) systems requires a large number of high-speed, high-bandwidth electronic channels and components. To minimize the cost and complexity of a system’s back-end architecture and data acquisition, many analog signals are often multiplexed to fewer channels using techniques that encode timing, energy, and position information. With progress in the development SiPMs having lower dark noise, after pulsing, and cross talk along with higher photodetection efficiency, a coincidence timing resolution (CTR) well below 200 ps FWHM is now easily achievable in single pixel, bench-top setups using 20-mm length, lutetium-based inorganic scintillators. However, multiplexing the output of many SiPMs to a single channel will significantly degrade CTR without appropriate signal processing. We test the performance of a PET detector readout concept that multiplexes 16 SiPMs to two channels. One channel provides timing information with fast comparators, and the second channel encodes both position and energy information in a time-over-threshold-based pulse sequence. This multiplexing readout concept was constructed with discrete components to process signals from a 4 × 4 array of SensL MicroFC-30035 SiPMs coupled to 2.9 × 2.9 × 20    mm 3 Lu1.8Gd0.2SiO5 (LGSO):Ce (0.025 mol. %) scintillators. This readout method yielded a calibrated, global energy resolution of 15.3% FWHM at 511 keV with a CTR of 198 ± 2    ps FWHM between the 16-pixel multiplexed detector array and a 2.9 × 2.9 × 20    mm 3 LGSO-SiPM reference detector. In summary, results indicate this multiplexing scheme is a scalable readout technique that provides excellent coincidence timing performance.
© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Joshua W. Cates, Joshua W. Cates, Matthew F. Bieniosek, Matthew F. Bieniosek, Craig S. Levin, Craig S. Levin, } "Highly multiplexed signal readout for a time-of-flight positron emission tomography detector based on silicon photomultipliers," Journal of Medical Imaging 4(1), 011012 (23 March 2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JMI.4.1.011012 . Submission: Received: 31 July 2016; Accepted: 9 March 2017
Received: 31 July 2016; Accepted: 9 March 2017; Published: 23 March 2017

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