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Improvement of neutron sensitivity for lithium formate ESR dosimeters: A Monte Carlo analysis

  • Authors: Maria Cristina D'Oca; Giorgio Collura; Cesare Gagliardo; Antonio Bartolotta; Mattia Romeo; Francesco d'Errico; Maurizio Marrale;
  • Publication year: 2023
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


This work presents the computational analysis of the sensitivity improvements that could be achieved in lithium formate monohydrate (LFM) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) dosemeters exposed to neutron beams. Monte Carlo (MC) simulations were performed on LFM pellets exposed to neutron beams with different energy spectra at various depths inside a water phantom. Various computations were carried out by considering different enrichments of 6Li inside the LFM matrix as well as addition of different amounts of gadolinium oxide inside the pellet blend. The energy released per unit mass was calculated with the aim of redicting the increase in dose achievable by the addition of sensitizers inside the pellets. As expected, a larger amount of 6Li induces an increase of energy released because of the charged secondary particles (i.e. 3H ions and α particles) produced after neutron capture. For small depths in water phantom and low-energy neutron spectra the dose increase due to 6Li enrichment is high (more than three orders of magnitude with respect to the case of with 7Li). In case of epithermal neutron beams the energy released in 6Li-enriched LFM compound is smaller but larger than in the case of fast neutron beams. On the other hand, the computational analysis evidenced that gadolinium is less effective than 6Li in improving neutron sensitivity of the LFM pellets. Discussion based on the features of MC transport code is provided. This result suggests that 6Li enrichment of LFM dosemeters would be more effective for neutron sensitivity improvement and these EPR dosemeters could be tested for dosimetric applications in Neutron Capture Therapy.