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Optical and thermal properties of samarium-doped fluorophosphate and fluoroaluminate glasses for high-dose, high-resolution dosimetry applications



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Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is an experimental form of radiation treatment which causes less damage to normal tissue in comparison with customary broad-beam radiation treatment. In this method the synchrotron generated X-ray beam is passed through a multislit collimator and applied to the tumor in the form of an array of planar microbeams. MRT dosimetry is an extremely challenging task and no current detector can provide the required wide dynamic rang and high spatial resolution. In this thesis, fluorophosphate (FP) and fluoroaluminate (FA) glass plates doped with trivalent samarium (Sm3+) are characterized towards developing a potential X-ray detector suitable for MRT dosimetry. The detection is based on the difference in the photoluminescence signatures of Sm3+ ions and Sm2+ ions; the latter are formed under X-ray irradiation. This valency conversion is accompanied by the formation of defects including hole centers (HCs) and electron centers (ECs) in the glass structure which absorb light in the UV and visible regions (induced absorbance). Both FP and FA glasses show promising dynamic range for MRT and may be used as a linear sensor up to ~150 Gy and as a nonlinear sensor up to ∼2400 Gy, where saturation is reached. X-ray induced defects saturate at the same dose. The optimum doping concentration is in the 0.001˗ 0.2 at.% range. Doping with higher concentrations will decrease the conversion efficiency. The glass plates also show a very promising spatial resolution (as high as a few microns) for recording the dose profile of microbeams which is readout using a confocal fluorescence microscopy technique. These plates are restorable as well and the response is reproducible. The effects of previous X-ray exposure including samarium valency conversion as well as induced absorbance may be erased by annealing at temperatures exceeding the glass transition temperature Tg while annealing at TA < Tg enhances the response. This enhancement is explained by a thermally stimulated relaxation of host glass ionic matrix surrounding X-ray induced Sm2+ ions. Optical erasure is another practical means to erase the recorded data. Nearly complete Sm2+ to Sm3+ reconversion (erasure) is achieved by intense optical illumination at 405 nm. While, existing X-ray induced bands would be only partially erased. Electron spin resonance (ESR) and optical absorbance spectroscopy are used to investigate the nature of X-ray induced defects and their correlation with Sm valency conversion. A model based on competition between defect center formation and the Sm3+ ⇆ Sm2+ conversion successfully explains the different processes occurring in the glass matrix under X-ray irradiation.



Samarium-doped glass, Fluorophosphate glass, Fluoroaluminate glass, Valency conversion, Dosimetry, Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT), X-ray induced defects



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical Engineering


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