LaBr3:Ce and silicon photomultipliers: Towards the optimal scintillating photon-counting detector

Stefan J. van der Sar*, David Leibold, Stefan E. Brunner, Dennis R. Schaart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

We investigate fast silicon photomultiplier (SiPM)-based scintillation detectors for X-ray photon-counting applications, e.g., photon-counting computed tomography (CT). Such detectors may be an alternative to CdTe/CdZnTe (CZT) and Si detectors, which face challenges related to availability and cost-effective growth of detector-grade material, and detection efficiency, respectively. Here, we experimentally study energy response and count rate performance of a 1 mm × 1 mm single-pixel detector consisting of the readily available LaBr3:Ce scintillator and an ultrafast SiPM. We used three radio-isotopes and an X-ray tube for the experiments. Raw detector signals were processed by a second-order low-pass filter with a cut-off frequency fc equal to 25 MHz or 100 MHz. The detector pulse height was shown to be proportional to photon energy. We measured FWHM energy resolutions of 19.5% (fc=25 MHz) and 21.5% (fc=100 MHz) at 60 keV. The measured X-ray tube spectra showed signs of the expected features of such spectra. The best count rate performance was achieved using fc=100 MHz. In case of paralyzable-like counting and a 30 keV counting threshold, the maximum observed count rate (OCR) was 10.5 Mcps/pixel. For nonparalyzable-like counting and the same threshold, the OCR appeared to approach an asymptotic value greater than 20 Mcps/pixel. These numbers are close to those of CdTe/CZT detectors highly optimized for photon-counting CT. In conclusion, we show promising spectral X-ray photon-counting performance of an LaBr3:Ce scintillation detector with SiPM readout. Depending on the application-specific requirements, miniaturization of the pixel size may be necessary, for which we discuss potential dose-efficient implementations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th International Conference on Image Formation in X-Ray Computed Tomography
EditorsJoseph Webster Stayman
PublisherSPIE
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781510656697
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event7th International Conference on Image Formation in X-Ray Computed Tomography - Virtual, Online
Duration: 12 Jun 202216 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume12304
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

Conference7th International Conference on Image Formation in X-Ray Computed Tomography
CityVirtual, Online
Period12/06/2216/06/22

Keywords

  • Count rate performance
  • energy response
  • scintillator
  • silicon photomultiplier
  • X-ray photon-counting

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