Development of a phoswich detector composed of ZnS(Ag) and YAP(Ce) for astatine-211 imaging

Seiichi Yamamoto*, Naoyuki Ukon, Kohshin Washiyama, Koki Hasegawa, Kei Kamada, Masao Yoshino, Akira Yoshikawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the research on alpha emitters used for targeted alpha particle therapy such as astatine-211 (211At), alpha particle as well as X-ray imaging are required for autoradiography and phantom imaging or in vivo imaging of small animals. Consequently, two imaging detectors for different types of radiations are required in such research. However, preparing two types of imaging detectors needs cost and space. If a single imaging detector could image alpha particles as well as X-rays for 211At, it would be an advance in the imaging research for targeted alpha particle therapy. Consequently, we developed a detector that can be used for both alpha particle and X-ray imaging. The developed imaging detector is a phoswich type made of a ZnS(Ag) sheet and a cerium doped YAlO3 (YAP(Ce)) plate optically coupled to each other with a 1-mm-thick light guide between scintillators. These scintillators were optically coupled to a 1-inch-square position-sensitive photomultiplier tube (PSPMT) to form an imaging detector. The ZnS(Ag) sheet detects alpha particles while the YAP(Ce) plate detects X-rays from 211At. Due to the pulse height difference between alpha particles and X-rays, a different high voltage was supplied to the PSPMT for alpha particle and low-energy X-ray detection. Discrimination between alpha particles and X-rays were conducted by pulse height as well as pulse shapes of ZnS(Ag) and YAP(Ce). The intrinsic spatial resolution for 5.5-MeV alpha particles was better than 0.6 mm the full width at half maximum (FWHM), while that for 60-keV gamma photons was ∼1.2 mm FWHM. Energy resolution for 5.5-MeV alpha particles was 60% FWHM, while that for 60-keV gamma photons was 25% FWHM. With a 4-mm-thick, 0.6-mm-diameter parallel hole collimator mounted on the detector, the system spatial resolution for 60-keV gamma photons was ∼2 mm FWHM within 5 mm from the collimator surface, and its sensitivity was 0.5%. An image of the 211At alpha particle distribution of a sliced kidney as well as an X-ray image of a paper soaked with 211At solution could be obtained. We conclude that the developed detector is promising for single-detector imaging of alpha particles as well as X-rays from 211At.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106734
JournalRadiation Measurements
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • At
  • Alpha particle
  • Phoswich imaging detector
  • X-rays
  • YAP(Ce)
  • ZnS(Ag)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation


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