Lineal energy calibration of a mini-TEPC via the proton-edge technique

Anna Bianchi, Davide Mazzucconi, Anna Selva, Paolo Colautti, Alessio Parisi, Filip Vanhavere, Brigitte Reniers, Valeria Conte

Research outputpeer-review


Purpose: The possibility to calibrate microdosimetric spectra using the proton- and electron-edge was proposed many years ago. It consists of two steps: first identifying the edge and a marker point on it and then ascribing the correct lineal energy value to the position of the edge in the event size spectrum. The purpose of this work is to study rigorously the marker identification for the proton-edge in the mini-TEPC spectra measured in neutron and in clinical proton fields, and the correspondent lineal energy value to assign to it. Materials and methods: Microdosimetric measurements were performed with a cylindrical miniaturized tissueequivalent proportional-counter (mini-TEPC) in neutron and gamma rays radiation fields at the CN accelerator of the Legnaro National Laboratories of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (LNL-INFN) and in the clinical 62 MeV proton beam of the Southern National Laboratories of INFN (LNS-INFN). The fitting of the proton-edge region of the microdosimetric spectra with a Fermi-like function was studied in both neutron and proton fields to identify the most precise marker point. The lineal energy value to ascribe to it was determined starting from the maximum energy deposit in protons obtained in FLUKA simulations. Results: Both in neutron radiation field and in clinical proton beams the flex and the intercept of the tangent through the inflection point are determined with similar precision. The flex was chosen as the most suitable marker of the proton-edge in sealed detectors because it is known to be less sensitive to pressure variations. The lineal energy value to ascribe to the flex position for 0.75 μm of propane depends on the irradiation geometry: 194 keV/μm for isotropic radiation fields and 165 keV/μm for mono-directional radiation fields orthogonal to the axis of the cylinder. The calibration values for the proton-edge have been converted in water by means of the mean stopping power ratio of water and propane for protons obtaining 171 keV/μm for isotropic radiation fields and 145 keV/μm for mono-directional radiation fields.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106526
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalRadiation Measurements
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021

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