Medical physics

Comparison of NaI(Tl), CdTe, and HgI2 surgical probes: physical characterization.

PMID 1870478


The physical properties of three surgical probes containing different radiation detectors are compared: a NaI(Tl) scintillator with a flexible, fiber-optic light guide, and two semiconductor detectors that operate at room temperature, CdTe and HgI2. Also compared are spectra, energy resolutions, and counting efficiencies measured at a variety of gamma-ray energies between 30 and 1000 keV. The energy resolution of the NaI probe is substantially poorer than that of either semiconductor probe due in part to light losses in coupling the scintillator to the fiber optics. The semiconductor probes have complex spectral response due to charge-carrier trapping and K x-ray escape, and not all photoelectric interactions in these detectors contribute to the useful part of the photopeak. Above 120 keV the counting efficiency for the NaI probe is an order of magnitude higher than for the CdTe and HgI2 probes. Both energy resolution and counting efficiency are slightly better for the HgI2 probe than for the CdTe probe.