Caractérisation de points quantiques comme matériau luminescent pour applications en dosimétrie

Authors: Delage, Marie-Ève
Advisor: Allen, ClaudineBeaulieu, Luc
Abstract: This thesis presents the investigation of a new luminescent material as the sensible volume of scintillating dosimeters, a material which has been developed in the past twenty years: colloidal quantum dots (cQDs). These nanocrystals are composed of semiconductors and have unique properties, which are in part due to the three-dimensional quantum confinement of their charge carriers. cQDs constitute a material of interest for scintillation dosimetry since they have a more important light emission than their bulk counterpart. Moreover, they have a wide absorption and a narrow emission spectrum, for which their maximum absorption (emission) is tuneable with the cQD size and composition. The cQDs can be incorporated to many physical supports like liquids or plastics. Few studies have characterized cQDs as scintillators for an application in radiation oncology dosimetry. Thus, many research paths had to be explored to establish the portrait of cQDs as a luminescent material for applications in dosimetry. cQDs under multiple physical forms were tested: powder, liquids and plastics. Even though the major part of the thesis deals with the characterization of cQDs, work has been done on improving the light signal collection. This part of the project was motivated by the low duty cycle of the linear accelerator (0.144%), which results in a continuous light acquisition including a lot of noise. Thus, a prototype of an integrated synchronized circuit was developed and lead to a better signal to noise ratio of the light signal collected, evaluated to be up to 8 times better. The first study on the cQD characterization reports the comparison results of the resistance to ionizing radiation of core/shell (CS) and multishell (MS) cQDs, the type that is used throughout the thesis. MS cQDs have proven to have a better radiation resistance than CS cQDs due to their better surface passivation. Moreover, repeated irradiations separated with pauses put forward an opposite trend concerning the effect of the pauses on the recovery of the scintillation efficiency. CS cQDs presented an accelerated degradation of their light production efficiency while MS cQDs showed a systematic scintillation efficiency recovery. In the second study, measurements were conducted in order to characterize the cQD liquid dispersions. It was observed that the cQD dispersion scintillation efficiency was dependent on the nature of the solvent. The alkylbenzene dispersion, offering the best light production, wasshown to reach a tenth of the light emission intensity of the commercial scintillator Ultima Gold. This observation is remarkable since the cQD concentration is five orders of magnitude lower than the fluorophore concentration in Ultima Gold. The last study presents the continuing characterization of the cQD powder and the cQD liquid dispersions as dosimeters. It is reported that their scintillation output is linear with dose when the cQDs are irradiated with various photon and electron beam energies. The light output dependence on beam energy was also quantified and it was shown that the cQD liquid dispersions have the least important dependence. Indeed, the alkylbenzene dispersion has a maximal signal variation from 6 MV of 15% observed at 220 kVp, a variation lower than what was reported for the scintillating fiber BCF-60 and Ultima Gold. Preliminary results are also presented for the cQD plastic scintillators. At kV energies, it was observed that the energy dependence of the scintillation output followed a similar trend than that of the BCF-60’s but had a lower variation amplitude. To conclude, each of the cQD forms has a potential in being used for scintillation dosimetry considering their proper particularities. These particularities are discussed in detail in the conclusion of the thesis.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 29 May 2019
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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