Reaching 200-ps timing resolution in a time-of-flight and depth-of-interaction positron emission tomography detector using phosphor-coated crystals and high-density silicon photomultipliers

Sun Il Kwon, Alessandro Ferri, Alberto Gola, Eric Berg, Claudio Piemonte, Simon R Cherry, Emilie Roncali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current research in the field of positron emission tomography (PET) focuses on improving the sensitivity of the scanner with thicker detectors, extended axial field-of-view, and time-of-flight (TOF) capability. These create the need for depth-of-interaction (DOI) encoding to correct parallax errors. We have proposed a method to encode DOI using phosphor-coated crystals. Our initial work using photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) demonstrated the possibilities of the proposed method, however, a major limitation of PMTs for this application is poor quantum efficiency in yellow light, corresponding to the wavelengths of the converted light by the phosphor coating. In contrast, the red-green-blue-high-density (RGB-HD) silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) have a high photon detection efficiency across the visible spectrum. Excellent coincidence resolving time (CRT; <210ps) was obtained by coupling RGB-HD SiPMs and 3 × 3 × 20mm3 lutetium fine silicate crystals coated on a third of one of their lateral sides. Events were classified in three DOI bins (∼6.7-mm width) with an average sensitivity of 83.1%. A CRT of ∼200ps combined with robust DOI encoding is a marked improvement in the phosphor-coated approach that we pioneered. For the first time, we read out these crystals with SiPMs and clearly demonstrated the potential of the RGB-HD SiPMs for this TOF-DOI PET detector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043501
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • coincidence timing resolution
  • depth-of-interaction
  • phosphor coating
  • positron emission tomography
  • silicon photomultiplier
  • time-of-flight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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