Timing properties of phosphor-coated polished LSO crystals

Jeffrey P. Schmall, Emilie Roncali, Eric Berg, Varsha Viswanath, Junwei Du, Simon R Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study investigates a time-of-flight (TOF)-depth-of-interaction (DOI) detector design for positron emission tomography (PET), based on phosphor-coated lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO) scintillator crystals coupled to fast single channel photomultiplier tubes. Interaction of the scintillation light with the phosphor coating changes the pulse shape in a depth-dependent manner. 3 × 3 × 10 mm3 LSO scintillation crystals with polished surfaces were characterized, with and without phosphor coating, to assess DOI capability and timing properties. Two different phosphor coating geometries were studied: coating of the top surface of the crystal, and the top plus half of the crystal sides. There was negligible depth dependency in the decay time when coating only the top surface, however there was a ∼10 ns difference in end-to-end decay time when coating the top plus half of the crystal sides, sufficient to support the use of three DOI bins (3.3 mm DOI bin width). The rise time of the half-coated phosphor crystal was slightly faster at all depths, compared to uncoated crystals, however the signal amplitude was lower. Phosphor coating resulted in depth-dependent photopeak positions with an energy resolution of 13.7%, at a depth of 1 mm, and 15.3%, at a depth of 9 mm, for the half-coated crystal. Uncoated LSO crystals showed no change in photopeak position as a function of depth, with an energy resolution of 10.4%. The head-on coincidence timing resolution (CTR) of two uncoated LSO crystals was 287 ps using constant fraction discrimination for time pick-off. With phosphor coating, the CTR of the top-coated crystal was 314 ps, compared to 384 ps for the half-coated crystal. We demonstrate that the trade-off between timing resolution and DOI resolution can be controlled by the phosphor coating geometry. Here we present preliminary results demonstrating that good DOI resolution can be achieved with only a modest 26% degradation in CTR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 7 2014


  • depth-of-interaction
  • PET
  • time-of-flight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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