Demonstrative measurement of proton-nuclear reaction by deconvolving the prompt gamma-ray spectra

Mana Hosobuchi*, Jun Kataoka, Fumiya Nishi, Ryo Tanaka, Taku Inaniwa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In proton therapy, there has been an increasing demand for measuring the employed dose distribution to improve treatment accuracy and quality. One method of estimating radiation dose in real time is to visualize the prompt gamma rays emitted during nuclear reactions between protons and nuclei in the patient's body. However, this is difficult without accurate measurements of nuclear cross sections, that cover a 10–100 MeV energy range. Herein, we propose a novel method for determining cross section of low-energy protons with 12C and 16O by measuring the prompt gamma rays emitted from stacked slab phantoms placed along the proton path. These emitted gamma rays provide direct information on the nuclear reactions occurring at different proton energies. By applying an iterative inference using the response matrix, the contamination of various prompt gamma rays can be resolved; thus, the cross sections of various reactions were obtained at arbitrary proton energies. As a first step to this study, we applied this method to measure the nuclear reaction of protons with 12C and 16O nuclei, which are the major elements constituting the human body. The cross section of the 12C(p,p)12C reaction, which produces a prominent gamma-ray peak at 4.4 MeV, reproduced the one in literature well, supporting the validity of the proposed method. Furthermore, we show that even weak prompt gamma rays can be resolved for a wide range of proton energies below 70 MeV, for which no cross sectional data have been reported so far.

Keywords

  • Gamma detectors (scintillators, CZT, HPGe, HgI etc.)
  • Instrumentation for particle-beam therapy
  • Targets (spallation source targets, radioisotope production, neutrino and muon sources)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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