Proton radiography shows great promise as a tool to guide proton beam therapy (PBT) in real time. Here, we demonstrate two ways in which the technology may progress towards that goal. Firstly, with a proton beam that is 800 MeV in energy, target tissue receives a dose of radiation with very tight lateral constraint. This could present a benefit over the traditional treatment energies of ~200 MeV, where up to 1 cm of lateral tissue receives scattered radiation at the target. At 800 MeV, the beam travels completely through the object with minimal deflection, thus constraining lateral dose to a smaller area. The second novelty of this system is the utilization of magnetic quadrupole refocusing lenses that mitigate the blur caused by multiple Coulomb scattering within an object, enabling high resolution imaging of thick objects, such as the human body. This system is demonstrated on ex vivo salamander and zebrafish specimens, as well as on a realistic hand phantom. The resulting images provide contrast sufficient to visualize thin tissue, as well as fine detail within the target volumes, and the ability to measure small changes in density. Such a system, combined with PBT, would enable the delivery of a highly specific dose of radiation that is monitored and guided in real time.
A new burst-mode, 10-frame, hybrid Si-sensor/CMOS-ROIC FPA chip has been recently fabricated at Teledyne Imaging Sensors. The intended primary use of the sensor is in the multi-frame 800 MeV proton radiography at LANL. The basic part of the hybrid is a large (48×49 mm2) stitched CMOS chip of 1100×1100 pixel count, with a minimum shutter speed of 50 ns. The performance parameters of this chip are compared to the first generation 3-frame 0.5-Mpixel custom hybrid imager. The 3-frame cameras have been in continuous use for many years, in a variety of static and dynamic experiments at LANSCE. The cameras can operate with a per-frame adjustable integration time of ~ 120ns-to- 1s, and inter-frame time of 250ns to 2s. Given the 80 ms total readout time, the original and the new imagers can be externally synchronized to 0.1-to-5 Hz, 50-ns wide proton beam pulses, and record up to ~1000-frame radiographic movies typ. of 3-to-30 minute duration. The performance of the global electronic shutter is discussed and compared to that of a high-resolution commercial front-illuminated monolithic CMOS imager.
We have investigated scintillator efficiency for MeV radiographic imaging. This paper discusses the modeled detection efficiency and measured brightness of a number of scintillator materials. An optical imaging camera records images of scintillator emission excited by a pulsed x-ray machine. The efficiency of various thicknesses of monolithic LYSO:Ce (cerium-doped lutetium yttrium orthosilicate) are being studied to understand brightness and resolution trade-offs compared with a range of micro-columnar CsI:Tl (thallium-doped cesium iodide) scintillator screens. The micro-columnar scintillator structure apparently provides an optical gain mechanism that results in brighter signals from thinner samples. The trade-offs for brightness versus resolution in monolithic scintillators is straightforward. For higher-energy x-rays, thicker materials generally produce brighter signal due to x-ray absorption and the optical emission properties of the material. However, as scintillator thickness is increased, detector blur begins to dominate imaging system resolution due to the volume image generated in the scintillator thickness and the depth of field of the imaging system. We employ a telecentric optical relay lens to image the scintillator onto a recording CCD camera. The telecentric lens helps provide sharp focus through thicker-volume emitting scintillators. Stray light from scintillator emission can also affect the image scene contrast. We have applied an optical light scatter model to the imaging system to minimize scatter sources and maximize scene contrasts.
Gigahertz (GHz) imaging technology will be needed at high-luminosity X-ray and charged particle sources. It is
plausible to combine fast scintillators with the latest picosecond detectors and GHz electronics for multi-frame hard Xray
imaging and achieve an inter-frame time of less than 10 ns. The time responses and light yield of LYSO, LaBr3, BaF2 and ZnO are measured using an MCP-PMT detector. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) is an attractive material for fast hard X-ray
imaging based on GEANT4 simulations and previous studies, but the measured light yield from the samples is much
lower than expected.
A new technique in charged particle radiography was invented in 1995 at Los Alamos National Laboratory utilizing the 800MeV proton beam at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE).At present proton radiography (pRad) has proven to be useful in the study of explosives driven dynamic phenomena, and quasi-static systems such as metal eutectics. For static objects, tomographic imaging has been demonstrated with possible use to study failure mechanism in materials such as nuclear fuel pellets. The basic principles of pRad will be presented along with selected representative results.
A high-resolution hybrid visible imager, that is composed of a CMOS readout integrated circuit (ROIC) and a silicon photo-detector array, has been designed. The ROIC is fabricated with a standard 0.25 μm CMOS mixed-mode process with a back-illuminated silicon detector array that is produced at Rockwell Scientific Company (RSC) using RSC's HyViSITM process.
The camera system is designed primarily to record images formed on a scintillator used in pulsed proton radiography experiments. In such experiments, the repetition rate of the proton beam can be as high as 2.8 MHz (358 ns). An imaging system with the desired 1440x1440 pixels resolution would result in an instantaneous readout rate in excess of 5.79 E12 samples/s. To address this issue we designed a pixel with three-frame in-pixel analog storage allowing for a deferred slower readout.
The 26 μm pitch pixel imager is operated in a global shutter mode and features in-pixel correlated double sampling (CDS) for each of the three acquired frames. The CDS operation is necessary to overcome the kTC noise of the integrating node to achieve high dynamic range. A 65 fps continuous readout mode is also provided. The hybridized silicon array has close to 100% fill factor while anti-reflection (AR) coating maximizes its quantum efficiency at the scintillator emission wavelength (~415 nm).
The ROIC is a 720x720, two-side buttable integrated circuit with on-chip 12-bit analog to digital converter (ADC) for digital readout. Timing and biasing are also generated on-chip, and special attention has been given to the power distribution of the pixel-array and snapshot signal buffers. This system-on-chip approach results in a compact and low power camera, an important feature to extend the number of imaged frames by synchronizing multiple cameras.
A monolithic solid-state streak camera has been designed and fabricated in a standard 0.35 μm, 3.3V, thin-oxide digital CMOS process. It consists of a 1-D linear array of 150 integrated photodiodes, followed by fast analog buffers and on-chip, 150-deep analog frame storage. Each pixel's front-end consists of an n-diffusion / p-well photodiode, with fast complementary reset transistors, and a source-follower buffer. Each buffer drives a line of 150 sample circuits per pixel, with each sample circuit consisting of an n-channel sample switch, a 0.1 pF double-polysilicon sample capacitor, a reset switch to definitively clear the capacitor, and a multiplexed source-follower readout buffer. Fast on-chip sample clock generation was designed using a self-timed break-before-make operation that insures the maximum time for sample settling. The electrical analog bandwidth of each channels buffer and sampling circuits was designed to exceed 1 GHz. Sampling speeds of 400 M-frames/s have been achieved using electrical input signals. Operation with optical input signals has been demonstrated at 100 MHz sample rates. Sample output multiplexing allows the readout of all 22,500 samples (150 pixels times 150 samples per pixel) in about 3 ms. The chip’s output range was a maximum of 1.48 V on a 3.3V supply voltage, corresponding to a maximum 2.55 V swing at the photodiode. Time-varying output noise was measured to be 0.51 mV, rms, at 100 MHz, for a dynamic range of ~11.5 bits, rms. Circuit design details are presented, along with the results of electrical measurements and optical experiments with fast pulsed laser light sources at several wavelengths.
An image sensor acquisition and readout circuit prototype, capable of 4 to 10 million frames/s and 79 dB (13 bits), RMS, dynamic range has been fabricated and tested. The 0.35 μm CMOS chip tests sensor and readout circuitry intended for applications such as accelerator-based radiography, where fast, brief, transient events can be captured with high resolution. It exhibits a unique combination of extremely high speeds and very wide dynamic range, as well as 64-frame analog storage on the focal plane array (FPA). Each pixel includes either a charge-integrating trans-impedance amplifier or a direct-integration source-follower front end, followed by an array of 64 sample capacitors and associated readout electronics. Flexible operation capabilities allows the acquisition of either 32 frames using correlated double sampling (CDS) at 4 M-frames/s, or 64 frames without CDS at 7 M-frames/s without any reduction in gain. Allowing a -3dB gain reduction, frame rates as high as 10.5 MHz can be achieved. CDS is performed by acquiring two samples per frame, one immediately after reset and one at the end of the integration period, followed by external subtraction of the two samples. Two samples at a time are read out in parallel when CDS is not required. A 200 by 200 μm pixel is implemented in order to mate an extended version to an existing back-illuminated hybrid photo-diode FPA.
In this paper we give a brief report on the development of simple direct- and indirect-detection imagers for proton radiography experiments. We outline a conceptual design for a novel, multi-frame 5 mega frames per second (Mfs) hybrid imager. The high-density interconnect is identified as a critical enabling technology. We present a description of a 3D electronics packaging cube, which was completed in a recent feasibility study.
Multi-pulse imaging systems have been developed for recording images from pulsed X-ray and proton radiographic sources. The number of successive images for x-ray radiography is limited to four being generated by 25 ns, pulsed sources in a close positioned geometry. The number of proton images are provided by the number of proton bursts (approximately 60 ns) delivered to the radiographic system. In both cases the radiation to light converter is a thin LSO crystal. The radiographic image formed is relayed by a direct, coherent bundle or lens coupling to a variety of electronic shuttered, cooled CCD cameras. The X-ray system is optimized for detecting bremmstrahlung, reflection geometry generated X-rays with end point energies below 300 keV. This has resulted in less than 200 μm thick LSO converters which are 25 x 25 mm2. The converter is attached to a UV transmitting fiberoptic which in turn is directly coupled to a coherent bundle. The image is relayed to a 25 mm microchannel plate image intensifier attached to a 4 image framing camera. The framing camera image is recorded by a 1600 x 1600 pixel, cooled CCD camera. The current proton radiography imaging system for dynamic experiments is based on a system of seven individual high-resolution CCD cameras, each with its own optical relay and fast shuttering. The image of the radiographed object is formed on a 1.7 mm thick tiles of LSO scintillator. The rapid shuttering for each of the CCD's is accomplished via proximity-focussed planar diodes (PPD), which require application of 300-to-500 ns long, 12 kV pulses to the PPD from a dedicated HV pulser. The diodes are fiber-optically coupled to the front face of the CCD chips. For each time-frame a separate CCD assembly is required. The detection quantum efficiency (DQE) of the system is about 0.4. This is due to the lens coupling inefficiency, the necessary demagnification (typically between 5:1 and 3:1) in the system optics, and the planar-diode photo-cathode quantum efficiency (QE) (of approximately 15%). More recently, we have incorporated a series of 4 or 9 image framing cameras to provide an increased number of images. These have been coupled to cooled CCD cameras as readouts. A detailed description of the x-ray and proton radiographic imaging systems are discussed as well as observed limitations in performance. A number of improvements are also being developed which will be described.