The effective atomic number of dosimetric gels

Taylor, M, Franich, R, Trapp, J and Johnston, P 2008, 'The effective atomic number of dosimetric gels', Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 131-138.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The effective atomic number of dosimetric gels
Author(s) Taylor, M
Franich, R
Trapp, J
Johnston, P
Year 2008
Journal name Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine
Volume number 31
Issue number 2
Start page 131
End page 138
Total pages 8
Publisher Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine
Abstract Radiological properties of gel dosimeters and phantom materials are often compared against each other and against water or tissue by consideration parameters including their effective atomic number, Zeff. Effective atomic numbers have been calculated for a range of ferrous-sulphate and polymeric gel dosimeters using mass attenuation coefficient data over the energy range 10 keV to 10 MeV. Data is presented relative to water to allow direct comparison over a range of energies. These data provide energy specific values of Zeff which improves on the practice of applying a power-law based formula to estimate an energy independent value. For applications that require a single value of Zeff, the data presented here allows the choice of a value appropriate to the energy of the photon source or a spectrum-weighted average. Studying the variation of Zeff, which is equivalent to taking into account the variation of mass attenuation coefficients with photon energy, it is found that gels typically match water better than water matches human tissues. As such, the subtle differences in effective atomic number between water and gels are small and may be considered negligible. Consideration of the mean disparity over a large energy range shows, broadly, BANG-1 to be the most water equivalent gel.
Subject Medical Physics
Keyword(s) effective atomic number
gel dosimeter
water equivalence
tissue equivalence
DOI - identifier 10.1007/BF03178587
Copyright notice © Copyright 2008 ACPSEM.
ISSN 0158-9938
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