Recent progress of MPPC-based scintillation detectors in high precision X-ray and gamma-ray imaging

J. Kataoka, A. Kishimoto, T. Fujita, T. Nishiyama, Y. Kurei, T. Tsujikawa, T. Oshima, T. Taya, Y. Iwamoto, H. Ogata, H. Okochi, S. Ohsuka, H. Ikeda, S. Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The multi-pixel photon counter (MPPC) is a promising light sensor for various applications, not only in physics experiments but also in nuclear medicine, industry, and even high-energy astrophysics. In this paper, we present the current status and most recent progress of the MPPC-based scintillation detectors, such as (1) a high-precision X-ray and gamma-ray spectral image sensor, (2) next-generation PET detectors with MRI, TOF, and DOI measurement capabilities, and (3) a compact gamma camera for environmental radiation surveys. We first present a new method of fabricating a Ce:GAGG scintillator plate (1 or 2 mm thick) with ultra-fine resolution (0.2 mm/pixel), cut using a dicing saw to create 50μm wide micro-grooves. When the plate is optically coupled with a large-area MPPC array, excellent spatial resolution of 0.48 mm (FWHM) and energy resolution of 14% (FWHM) are obtained for 122 keV gamma rays. Hence, the detector can act as a convenient "multi-color" imaging device that can potentially be used for future SPECT and photon-counting CT. We then show a prototype system for a high-resolution MPPC-based PET scanner that can realize 1 mm (FWHM) spatial resolution, even under a strong magnetic field of 4.7 T. We develop a front-end ASIC intended for future TOF-PET scanner with a 16-channel readout that achieves a coincidence time resolution of 489 ps (FWHM). A novel design for a module with DOI-measurement capability for gamma rays is also presented by measuring the pulse height ratio of double-sided MPPCs coupled at both ends of scintillation crystal block. Finally, we present the concept of a two-plane Compton camera consisting of Ce:GAGG scintillator arrays coupled with thin MPPC arrays. As a result of the thin and compact features of the MPPC device, the camera not only achieves a small size (14×14×15 cm3) and light weight (1.9 kg) but also excellent sensitivity, compared to the conventional PMT-based pinhole camera used in Fukushima. Finally, we briefly describe a new product recently developed in conjunction with Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. that offers improved sensitivity and angular resolution of Δθ-8° (FWHM) at 662 keV, by incorporating DOI-segmented scintillator arrays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 1


  • Compton camera
  • Multi-pixel photon counter (MPPC)
  • Next generation PET
  • Scintillator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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