New water equivalent liquid scintillation solutions for 3D dosimetry.
ABSTRACT Despite recent advances in radiochromic film and gel dosimetry techniques, radiation therapy still lacks an efficient, accurate, and convenient dose measurement method capable of measuring the dose simultaneously over a plane or a volume (3D). A possibility for creating such a 3D method based on observing scintillation photons emitted from an irradiated volume was recently reported [A. S. Kirov et al., Med. Phys. 26, 1069 (1999)]. In the present article, we investigate the potential to use a liquid scintillation solution (LS) as a dose sensitive media and, simultaneously, as a water equivalent phantom material which fills the measurement volume. We show that matching water density in addition to energy absorption properties is important for using the LS solution as a phantom. Through a parametric study of the LS attenuation and absorption coefficients as well as Monte Carlo dose calculations and scintillation efficiency measurements we developed novel LS materials. For the new solutions, the calculated dose in LS is within 8% of the dose to water for depths up to 5 cm for photons having energies between 30 keV and 2 MeV. The new LS solutions, which are loaded with a Si containing compound, retain more than 85% of the scintillation efficiency of the unloaded solutions and exhibit high localization of the scintillation process. The new LS solutions are superior with respect to efficiency and water equivalence to plastic scintillator materials used in dosimetry and may be used apart from the mentioned 3D method.