Radioluminescence by protons and carbon ions of energy lower than the Cherenkov threshold (∼260 keV) in water has been observed. However, the origin of the luminescence has not been investigated well. In the present work, we imaged radioluminescence in water using synchrotron radiation that was of sufficiently lower energy (11 keV) than the Cherenkov threshold and we measured its spectrum using a high-sensitivity cooled CCD camera and optical longpass filters having 5 different thresholds. In addition, to determine effects of impurities in water, the water target was changed from ultrapure water to tap water. Monte Carlo simulation (Geant4) was also performed to compare its results with the experimentally obtained radioluminescence distribution. In the simulation, photons were generated in proportion to the energy deposition in water. As a result, the beam trajectory was clearly imaged by the radioluminescence in water. The spectrum was proportional to λ−3.4±0.4 under an assumption of no peaks. In the spectrum and distribution, no differences were observed between ultrapure water and tap water. TOC (total organic carbon) contents of ultrapure water and tap water as an impurity were measured and these were 0.26 mg l−1 and 2.3 mg l−1, respectively. The radioluminescence seemed to be attributable to water molecules not impurities. The radioluminescence distribution of the simulation was consistent with the experimental distribution and this suggested that radioluminescence was proportional to dose, which is expected to allow use for dose measurement.
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