Measurements of the electron dose distribution near inhomogeneities using a plastic scintillation detector

Carol M. Meger Wells, T. Rockwell Mackie, Matthew B. Podgorsak, Mark A. Holmes, Nikos Papanikolaou, Paul J. Reckwerdt, Joanna Cygler, David W.O. Rogers, Alex F. Bielajew, Daniel G. Schmidt, Joseph K. Muehlenkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: Accurate measurement of the electron dose distribution near an inhomogeneity is difficult with traditional dosimeters which themselves perturb the electron field. We tested the performance of a new high resolution, water-equivalent plastic scintillation detector which has ideal properties for this application. Methods and Materials: A plastic scintillation detector with a 1 mm diameter, 3 mm long cylindrical sensitive volume was used to measure the dose distributions behind standard benchmark inhomogeneities in water phantoms. The plastic scintillator material is more water equivalent than polystyrene in terms of its mass collision stopping power and mass scattering power. Measurements were performed for beams of electrons having initial energies of 6 and 18 MeV at depths from 0.2-4.2 cm behind the inhomogeneities. Results: The detector reveals hot and cold spots behind heterogeneities at resolutions equivalent to typical film digitizer spot sizes. Plots of the dose distributions behind air, aluminum, lead, and formulations for cortical and inner bone-equivalent materials are presented. Conclusion: The plastic scintillation detector is suited for measuring the electron dose distribution near an inhomogeneity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1165
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 30 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron beam dosimetry
  • Heterogeneity
  • Inhomogeneity
  • Scintillation detector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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