SU‐D‐BRCD‐06: Measurement of Elekta Electron Energy Spectra Using a Small Magnetic Spectrometer

K. Hogstrom, D. Mclaughlin, J. Gibbons, P. Shikhaliev, T. Clarke, A. Henderson, D. Taylor, P. Shagin, E. Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To demonstrate how a small magnetic spectrometer can measure the energy spectra of seven electron beams on an Elekta Infinity tuned to match beams on a previously commissioned machine. Methods: Energyspectra were determined from measurements of intensity profiles on 6″‐long computed radiographic (CR) strips after deflecting a narrow incident beam using a small (28 lbs.), permanent magnetic spectrometer. CR plateexposures (<1cGy) required special beam reduction techniques and bremsstrahlung shielding. Curves of CR intensity (corrected for non‐ linearity and background) versus position were transformed into energy spectra using the transformation from position (x) on the CR plate to energy (E) based on the Lorentz force law. The effective magnetic field and its effective edge, parameters in the transformation, were obtained by fitting a plot of most probable incident energy (determined from practical range) to the peak position. Results: The calibration curve (E vs. x) fit gave 0.423 Tesla for the effective magnetic field. Most resulting energy spectra were characterized by a single, asymmetric peak with peak position and FWHM increasing monotonically with beam energy. Only the 9‐MeV spectrum was atypical, possibly indicating suboptimal beam tuning. These results compared well with energy spectra independently determined by adjusting each spectrum until the EGSnrc Monte Carlo calculated percent depth‐dose curve agreed well with the corresponding measured curve. Conclusions: Results indicate that this spectrometer and methodology could be useful for measuring energy spectra of clinical electron beams at isocenter. Future work will (1) remove the small effect of the detector response function (due to pinhole size and incident angular spread) from the energy spectra, (2) extract the energy spectra exiting the accelerator from current results, (3) use the spectrometer to compare energy spectra of matched beams among our clinical sites, and (4) modify the spectrometer to utilize radiochromic film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3614
Number of pages1
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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