Compton PET: a layered structure PET detector with high performance

Peng Peng, Martin S. Judenhofer, Simon R Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In most high-resolution PET detector designs, there is an inherent trade-off between spatial resolution and detector efficiency. We have developed and tested a new geometry for the detector module which avoids this trade-off. The module uses a layered structure, in which four crystal slabs are stacked in the depth direction and optically separated by enhanced specular reflector (ESR) film. The scintillation light within each layer is measured by 16 SiPMs located on the four sides of the crystal. Analog signals from all SiPMs (4  ×  16) on the four sides of the crystal are digitized individually using a 64-channel TOFPET-2 module. The four-sided readout method reduces the problem of light trapping resulting from total internal reflection when reading out the end(s) of traditional scintillation crystal arrays, thus increasing the light collection efficiency. In this work, we demonstrate the readout of a complete layered detector with 4 layers. The high light collection efficiency results in a FWHM energy resolution of 10.3%, and a FWHM timing resolution of 348 ps. The distribution of scintillation light detected by the SiPMs was used to decode the interaction position of each gamma ray using a trained neural network. A FWHM spatial resolution of 1.1  ±  0.1 mm was achieved. This design allows the detection efficiency of the module to be increased by adding additional crystal slabs along the depth direction. Since the position, energy, and timing are measured for each layer independently, increasing the system sensitivity by adding more layers will not affect the spatial/energy/timing resolution. Furthermore, the layered structure allows partial recovery of position information for events that undergo Compton scatter within the detector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 8 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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