Monte Carlo simulation of MOSFET detectors for high-energy photon beams using the PENELOPE code

Vanessa Panettieri, Maria Amor Duch, Núria Jornet, Mercè Ginjaume, Pablo Carrasco, Andreu Badal, Xavier Ortega, Montserrat Ribas

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work was the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation of the response of commercially available dosimeters based on metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) for radiotherapeutic photon beams using the PENELOPE code. The studied Thomson&Nielsen TN-502-RD MOSFETs have a very small sensitive area of 0.04 mm2 and a thickness of 0.5 μm which is placed on a flat kapton base and covered by a rounded layer of black epoxy resin. The influence of different metallic and Plastic water™ build-up caps, together with the orientation of the detector have been investigated for the specific application of MOSFET detectors for entrance in vivo dosimetry. Additionally, the energy dependence of MOSFET detectors for different high-energy photon beams (with energy >1.25 MeV) has been calculated. Calculations were carried out for simulated 6 MV and 18 MV x-ray beams generated by a Varian Clinac 1800 linear accelerator, a Co-60 photon beam from a Theratron 780 unit, and monoenergetic photon beams ranging from 2 MeV to 10 MeV. The results of the validation of the simulated photon beams show that the average difference between MC results and reference data is negligible, within 0.3%. MC simulated results of the effect of the build-up caps on the MOSFET response are in good agreement with experimental measurements, within the uncertainties. In particular, for the 18 MV photon beam the response of the detectors under a tungsten cap is 48% higher than for a 2 cm Plastic water™ cap and approximately 26% higher when a brass cap is used. This effect is demonstrated to be caused by positron production in the build-up caps of higher atomic number. This work also shows that the MOSFET detectors produce a higher signal when their rounded side is facing the beam (up to 6%) and that there is a significant variation (up to 50%) in the response of the MOSFET for photon energies in the studied energy range. All the results have shown that the PENELOPE code system can successfully reproduce the response of a detector with such a small active area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number020
Pages (from-to)303-316
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics in Medicine & Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

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