By using detectors with good depth encoding accuracy (∼2 mm), an animal PET scanner can be built with a small ring diameter and thick crystals to simultaneously obtain high spatial resolution and high sensitivity. However, there will be large wedge-shaped gaps between detector modules in such a scanner if traditional cuboid crystal arrays are used in a polygonal arrangement. The gaps can be minimized by using tapered scintillator arrays enabling the sensitivity of the scanner to be further improved. In this work, tapered lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO) arrays with different crystal dimensions and different combinations of inter-crystal reflector and crystal surface treatments were manufactured and their performance was evaluated. Arrays were read out from both ends by position-sensitive avalanche photodiodes (PSAPDs). In the optimal configuration, arrays consisting of 0.5 mm LSO elements could be clearly resolved and a depth of interaction resolution of 2.6 mm was obtained for a 20 mm thick array. For this tapered array, the intrinsic spatial is degraded from 0.67 to 0.75 mm compared to a standard cuboidal array with similar dimensions, while the increase in efficiency is 41%. Tapered scintillator arrays offer the prospect of improvements in sensitivity and sampling for small-bore scanners, without large increases in manufacturing complexity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology