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Monte Carlo simulation of energy absorbed in phenolic ESR dosimeters added with gadolinium exposed to thermal, epithermal and fast neutrons

  • Authors: A Longo; G Collura; S Gallo; A Bartolotta; M Marrale
  • Publication year: 2017
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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In this work analyses of the energy released per unit mass in phenolic compound exposed to neutron beams were performed with the aim of predicting the increase in dose achievable by addition of gadolinium (Gd) inside the pellets. In particular, Monte Carlo (MC) simulations were carried out for IRGANOX 1076 phenolic compound irradiated with neutron beams with different energy spectra at various depths inside a water phantom. The addition of gadolinium increases sensitivity of phenolic ESR (electron spin resonance) dosimeters to neutrons thanks to the high gadolinium cross section for neutron capture and to the large number of secondary particles (mainly Auger and internal conversion electrons) which are able to release energy inside the sensitive material layers. For small depths in water phantom and low energy neutron spectra the increase in dose due to gadolinium is large (more than a factor 50). The enhancement is smaller in case of epithermal neutron beam, whereas the increase in dose for fast neutrons is less than 50%. In order to have a comparison with other ESR dosimeters the energy released per unit mass in phenolic compound was compared with that calculated in alanine pellets. For thermal neutron beams the energy released in phenolic compound with gadolinium is comparable to that released in alanine for small depths in phantom, whereas it is larger than in alanine for large depths. In case of epithermal and fast neutron beams the energy released in phenolic compound is larger than in alanine samples because the elastic scattering with hydrogen nuclei is more probable for high neutron energies and this phenolic compound is characterized by an higher number of 1H nuclei than alanine. All results here found suggest that these phenolic pellets could be fruitfully used for dosimetric applications in Neutron Capture Therapy.