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Monolithic scintillators are more frequently used in PET instrumentation due to their advantages in terms of accurate position estimation of the impinging gamma rays both planar and depth of interaction, their increased efficiency, and expected timing capabilities. Such timing performance has been studied when those blocks are coupled to digital photosensors showing an excellent timing resolution. In this work we study the timing behaviour of detectors composed by monolithic crystals and analog SiPMs read out by an ASIC. The scintillation light spreads across the crystal towards the photosensors, resulting in a high number of SiPMs and ASIC channels fired. This has been studied in relation with the Coincidence Timing Resolution (CTR). We have used LYSO monolithic blocks with dimensions of 50 × 50 × 15 mm coupled to SiPM arrays (8 × 8 elements with 6 × 6 mm area) which compose detectors suitable for clinical applications. While a CTR as good as 186 ps FWHM was achieved for a pair of 3 × 3 × 5 mm LYSO crystals, when using the monolithic block and the SiPM arrays, a raw CTR over 1 ns was observed. An optimal timestamp assignment was studied as well as compensation methods for the time-skew and time-walk errors. This work describes all steps followed to improve the CTR. Eventually, an average detector time resolution of 497 ps FWHM was measured for the whole thick monolithic block. This improves to 380 ps FWHM for a central volume of interest near the photosensors. The timing dependency with the photon depth of interaction and planar position are also included.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Physica medica : PM : an international journal devoted to the applications of physics to medicine and biology : official journal of the Italian Association of Biomedical Physics (AIFB)
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