Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Yiping Shao

Committee Member

Richard Wendt III

Committee Member

Tinsu Pan

Committee Member

Osama Mawlawi

Committee Member

John Cook


High-resolution, small-bore PET systems suffer from a tradeoff between system sensitivity, and image quality degradation. In these systems long crystals allow mispositioning of the line of response due to parallax error and this mispositioning causes resolution blurring, but long crystals are necessary for high system sensitivity. One means to allow long crystals without introducing parallax errors is to determine the depth of interaction (DOI) of the gamma ray interaction within the detector module. While DOI has been investigated previously, newly available solid state photomultipliers (SSPMs) well-suited to PET applications and allow new modules for investigation. Depth of interaction in full modules is a relatively new field, and so even if high performance DOI capable modules were available, the appropriate means to characterize and calibrate the modules are not. This work presents an investigation of DOI capable arrays and techniques for characterizing and calibrating those modules. The methods introduced here accurately and reliably characterize and calibrate energy, timing, and event interaction positioning. Additionally presented is a characterization of the spatial resolution of DOI capable modules and a measurement of DOI effects for different angles between detector modules. These arrays have been built into a prototype PET system that delivers better than 2.0 mm resolution with a single-sided-stopping-power in excess of 95% for 511 keV g's. The noise properties of SSPMs scale with the active area of the detector face, and so the best signal-to-noise ratio is possible with parallel readout of each SSPM photodetector pixel rather than multiplexing signals together. This work additionally investigates several algorithms for improving timing performance using timing information from multiple SSPM pixels when light is distributed among several photodetectors.


PET module DOI calibration



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