Sensitively measuring radiation
Radiation doses can be measured and calculated more sensitively thanks to a new material being developed by Norwegian researchers. The search for more suitable materials for EPR dosimetry, the technique used for these measurements, has been pursued for several years. A team led by Einar Sagstuen from the University of Oslo, now present a material that increases sensitivity by almost a factor of 10. Currently EPR dosimetry for use in radiotherapy is limited because the material that is conventionally used, alanine, is only suitable for doses above 1 Gy and is not sensitive enough. Sagstuen says that it is important to understand the physical properties of the material and the processes induced upon exposure to ionising radiation. X-irradiated lithium formate is examined using EPR and ENDOR. Lithium formate retains all the good properties of alanine while offering the increased sensitivity required for clinical use. Sagstuen says that his information will be of basic importance for its development as a dosimeter material.
T A Vestad et al, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2004 (DOI: 10.1039/ b402846e)