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Establishment of the mammographic radiation qualities in industrial equipment: spectra determination

Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2010.08.055
  • Mammography
  • Radiation Qualities
  • X-Ray Spectra
  • Si(Li) Detector.


Abstract In this work, a Si(Li) detector was used to analyze mammographic X-ray spectra produced by an industrial equipment with Molybdenum (Mo) target, operating at constant tube potentials between 20 and 35 kV. Filters of Mo and Al of suitable thickness were added to the tube exit, in order to reproduce the radiation qualities of an X-ray mammographic equipment, as recommended by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC 61267) and the Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB). A detailed evaluation of the detector response functions was made using Monte Carlo simulations. The validity of this method was tested through comparisons with the experimental spectra of radioactive sources. The results showed that the Si(Li) detector exhibits good response function in low energy (between 5 and 20 keV). The measured X-ray spectra for a Mo filtration (0.03 mm thickness), corrected using the response functions, show a good agreement with the reference clinical spectra. The results of this work also show that both the radiation qualities implemented and the spectra shape are consistent with that obtained for mammographic X-ray beams, and they can be applied to calibration of the mammography measurements instruments (e.g. ionization chambers and dosimeters).

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