C. Guardiola, et al.

Physics in Medicine & Biology, 2021

In this work we show the first microdosimetry measurements on a low energy proton beam with therapeutic-equivalent fluence rates by using the second generation of 3D-cylindrical microdetectors. The sensors belong to an improved version of a novel silicon-based 3D-microdetector design with electrodes etched inside silicon, which were manufactured at the National Microelectronics Centre (IMB-CNM, CSIC) in Spain. A new microtechnology has been employed using quasi-toroid electrodes of 25 μm diameter and a depth of 20 μm within the silicon bulk, resulting in a well-defined cylindrical radiation sensitive volume. These detectors were tested at the 18 MeV proton beamline of the cyclotron at the National Accelerator Centre (CNA, Spain). They were assembled into an in-house low-noise readout electronics to assess their performance at a therapeutic-equivalent fluence rate. Microdosimetry spectra of lineal energy were recorded at several proton energies starting from 18 MeV by adding 50 µm-thick tungsten foils gradually at the exit-window of the cyclotron external beamline, which corresponds to different depths along the Bragg curve. The experimental ͞yF values in silicon cover from (5.7 ± 0.9) to (8.5 ± 0.4) keV/µm in the entrance to (27.4 ± 2.3) keV/µm in the distal edge. Pulse height energy spectra were crosschecked with Monte Carlo simulations and an excellent agreement was obtained. This work demonstrates the capability of the second generation 3D-microdetectors to assess accurate microdosimetric distributions at fluence rates as high as those used in clinical centres in proton therapy.

2021-04-22 10:31