Radioactive ion (RI) beams combined with in-beam positron emission tomography enable accurate in situ beam range verification in heavy ion therapy. However, the energy spread of the radioactive beams generated as secondary beams is wider than that of conventional stable heavy ion beams which causes Bragg peak region and distal falloff region broadening. Therefore, the energy spread of the RI beams should be measured carefully for their quality control. Here, we proposed an optical imaging technique for the energy spread estimation of radioactive oxygen ion beams. A polymethyl methacrylate phantom (10.0 × 10.0 × 9.9 cm3) was irradiated with an 15O beam (mean energy = 247.7 MeV u−1, standard deviation = 6.8 MeV u−1) in the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba. Three different momentum acceptances of 1%, 2% and 4% were used to get energy spreads of 1.9 MeV u−1, 3.4 MeV u−1 and 5.5 MeV u−1, respectively. The in-beam luminescence light and offline beam Cerenkov light images were acquired with an optical system consisting of a lens and a cooled charge-coupled device camera. To estimate the energy spread of the 15O ion beams, we proposed three optical parameters: (1) distal-50% falloff length of the prompt luminescence signals; (2) full-width at half maximum of the Cerenkov light signals in the beam direction; and (3) positional difference between the peaks of the Cerenkov light and the luminescence signals. These parameters estimated the energy spread with the respective mean squared errors of 2.52 × 10−3 MeV u−1, 5.91 × 10−3 MeV u−1, and 0.182 MeV u−1. The distal-50% falloff length of the luminescence signals provided the lowest mean squared error among the optical parameters. From the findings, we concluded optical imaging using luminescence and Cerenkov light signals offers an accurate energy spread estimation of 15O ion beams. In the future, the proposed optical parameters will be used for energy spread estimation of other RI beams as well as stable ion beams.
- Energy spread
- Optical imaging
- Radioactive ion beam
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging