Scintillation Crystals Manufactured with Subsurface Laser Engraving

Principal Investigator: William Hunter

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a medical imaging technique that can produce 3D images of tissues of interest for a patient for diagnosing a variety of diseases and disorders. In order to produce PET images, high-energy photons are converted to lower-energy photons using a scintillation crystal. There are numerous crystals that have been successfully used in PET systems; however, future systems require improvements. Current scintillation crystals are typically expensive, have low packing fraction, require intensity and spectral matching, and have low light collection. In order for PET scanning to improve and become more widespread, improvements to these qualities are required.

This invention is for a new scintillation crystal that uses subsurface laser engraving (SSLE) to produce point-like defects into a scintillation crystal. Point-like defects are used to guide low-energy photons through the crystal, and this device can be used in PET scanners. Defects can be produced with SSLE to produce high efficiency crystals that can give greater resolution than current scintillation crystals. Defects are controlled in space throughout the crystal, which allows for a single crystal to be used instead of an array of scintillators, and scintillation crystals can be tailored to match the intensity and spectral properties that are required.

• SSLE can be used to manufacture scintillation crystals for PET scanning. 

• This scintillation crystal can be used as a radiation detector for other imaging systems that use radiation. 

• New crystals can be used as direct replacements for current crystals in radiation scanners. 

• This scintillator can increase the amount of light collected and resolution of images taken using PET. 

• A single scintillator crystal can be used instead of an array of crystals, reducing cost and manufacturing time. 

• Light guides can be precisely controlled through the spacing of defects to a wide variety of patterns.


For more info, contact: Lisa Norton

  • swap_vertical_circlelibrary_booksReferences (1)
    1. William C.J. Hunter, Robert S. Miyaoka, Lawrence MacDonald, Wendy McDougald, Thomas K. Lewellen (January 09, 2015), Light-Sharing Interface for dMiCE Detectors Using Sub-Surface Laser Engraving, IEEE, 62, 27 - 35
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