Positron emission tomography (PET) produces a three-dimensional image of functional processes in human body using positron emitting tracers. It is particularly useful in evaluating medical conditions such as cancers, heart disease and brain disorders. PET is based on the principle of opposed 511-keV photons originating from the annihilation of positron with a nearby electron. In conventional PET, coincidence electronics are used to determine along which line an annihilation has occurred. Time-of-flight (TOF)-PET goes one step further: the more accurately measured difference in arrival times of the coincidence photons put additional constraint on the position of annihilation. Therefore it provides better image quality and help reduce patient dose.
Although the concept has been proposed in the 1980s, TOF-PET only became commercially available since 2006 with the availability of new scintillation crystals. In this talk, I will review recent efforts to further improve TOF-PET detector’s performance to reach sub-100 ps FWHM coincidence time resolution by using silicon photomultipliers (SiPM) and advanced front-end electronics. Then I will discuss the potential to apply relevant technologies to two important 12 GeV nuclear physics programs at Jefferson Lab: the GlueX and the SoLID experiments.
Argonne Physics Division Seminar Schedule