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Auchenflower, Australia

Charles P.H.,Queensland University of Technology | Crowe S.B.,Queensland University of Technology | Kairn T.,Queensland University of Technology | Kairn T.,He Wesley Medical Center | And 5 more authors.
Physics in Medicine and Biology | Year: 2013

Due to their small collecting volume, diodes are commonly used in small field dosimetry. However, the relative sensitivity of a diode increases with decreasing small field size. Conversely, small air gaps have been shown to cause a significant decrease in the sensitivity of a detector as the field size is decreased. Therefore, this study uses Monte Carlo simulations to look at introducing air upstream to diodes such that they measure with a constant sensitivity across all field sizes in small field dosimetry. Varying thicknesses of air were introduced onto the upstream end of two commercial diodes (PTW 60016 photon diode and PTW 60017 electron diode), as well as a theoretical unenclosed silicon chip using field sizes as small as 5 mm × 5 mm. The metric Dw,Q/ DDet,Q used in this study represents the ratio of the dose to a point of water to the dose to the diode active volume, for a particular field size and location. The optimal thickness of air required to provide a constant sensitivity across all small field sizes was found by plotting Dw,Q DDet,Q as a function of introduced air gap size for various field sizes, and finding the intersection point of these plots. That is, the point at which Dw,Q DDet,Q was constant for all field sizes was found. The optimal thickness of air was calculated to be 3.3, 1.15 and 0.10 mm for the photon diode, electron diode and unenclosed silicon chip, respectively. The variation in these results was due to the different design of each detector. When calculated with the new diode design incorporating the upstream air gap, k fclin, fmsr Qclin,Qmsr was equal to unity to within statistical uncertainty (0.5%) for all three diodes. Cross-axis profilemeasurements were also improved with the new detector design. The upstream air gap could be implanted on the commercial diodes via a cap consisting of the air cavity surrounded by water equivalent material. The results for the unclosed silicon chip show that an ideal small field dosimetry diode could be created by using a silicon chip with a small amount of air above it. © 2013 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. Source

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