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Oct 21, 2021

Highlights Day Five: IEEE NSS-MIC RTSD 2021

- By York Haemisch

Dr York Haemisch, our Director Medical and Research Markets, reports from this year’s virtual IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference and 28th International Symposium on Room-Temperature Semiconductor Detectors.

I returned to RTSD today for what was, in my opinion, a clinically significant presentation by Alexander Cherlin from Kromek. He showed us a new concept for a low-dose, stationary, tomographic Molecular Breast Imaging camera with 3D position sensitive CZT detectors. I believe this instrument could potentially be used in combination with something like the “nu:view” breast CT system by AB-CT GmbH, which is based on our photon counting detectors, especially for biopsies and pre-surgical and post-surgical evaluation.

We learnt more about new investigations into TlBr compounds and other amorphous materials, and derivatives for radiation and dose monitoring in our second session for RTSD.

Reyhaneh Toufanian, from CapeSym Inc., caught my attention with her talk for the third RTSD session, Imaging Applications and Systems. Reyhaneh showed some promising results in fabricating a 6×6 cm² MAPBI3 (Methylammonium Lead Iodide) sample by a special deposition method. The highly dense crystal is supposed to have twice the sensitivity of CdTe. However, as was the case with the other new materials presented yesterday, at the moment it is hard to predict if and when this will make it into larger scale production.

Each day, I’ve had the enjoyable task of selecting a standout session from the many fascinating talks I have attended. For day four, I would like to commend the first talk from the MIC strand, focused on reconstruction-less imaging or, as it is now called, direct Positron Emission Imaging (dPEI). Sun Il Kwon from Simon Cherry’s department at UC Davis  presented a modification of the MC-PMT combination using BGO as a scintillator and a Cherenkov emitter, adding SiPMs to catch the prompt Cherenkov photons. Using this arrangement, Sun Il Kwon achieved a timing resolution of 40 picoseconds. Based on his encouraging results, UC Davis researchers are now designing an instrument large enough to image small to mid-size animals and one can expect quite a lot from this development.

The second MIC session was devoted to the improvement of the timing resolution of scintillators in combination with light detectors, with the goal of using the early but faint Cherenkov light for timing rather than the scintillation.

Unfortunately, the industry sessions were running in parallel with all the other sessions so that the audience for those talks, including mine on the next level of photon counting detectors Pyxis, were only attended by about 20-25 people, compared to an average of 150-200 in the scientific sessions. The total attendance of the conference this year is ~ 1600, about a 1000 short of the meeting in Sydney.

It is a pleasure to see the work of the younger students and researchers who had their opportunity to show what they are working on in four, parallel “mini oral” five minute presentations. These talks brought our day to a pleasant conclusion.

Regrettably, I have not been able to report on the NSS sessions, not from neglect or ignorance, but because all the conference strands are run in parallel and I have to select those sessions that are most relevant for my area of responsibility. Hoping for your understanding, and until tomorrow!

Follow Direct Conversion News for more reports from Dr York Haemisch.