Improvement of ESR dosimetry for thermal neutron beams through the addition of gadolinium

M. Brai, M. Marrale, G. Gennaro, A. Bartolotta, M.C. D'Oca, G. Rosi

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In this paper, the addition of gadolinium is proposed as a useful tool to enhance the electron spin resonance (ESR) sensitivity of organic compounds to thermal neutrons. The target of this work is the detection, through the ESR technique, of the thermal neutron fluence in a mixed field of photons and neutrons. Gadolinium was chosen because it has a very high capture cross section to thermal neutrons; its nuclear reaction with thermal neutrons induces complex inner shell transitions that generate, besides other particles, Auger electrons, which in turn release their energy in the neighborhood (only several nanometers) of the place of reaction. Gadolinium was added to two organic molecules: alanine and ammonium tartrate. The main result obtained was a greater neutron sensitivity for dosimeters with gadolinium than for those without gadolinium for both organic molecules used. Since a dosimeter pair is required to discriminate between the two components of a mixed field, we studied the response of each dosimeter pair irradiated in a mixed field. Through a blind test we verified the usefulness of this dosimetric system and we obtained an estimate of the fluence in the mixed field with a relative uncertainty of 3%, when the pair composed of an alanine dosimeter and a dosimeter with alanine and gadolinium is used. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5219 - 5230
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this

Brai, M., Marrale, M., Gennaro, G., Bartolotta, A., D'Oca, M. C., & Rosi, G. (2007). Improvement of ESR dosimetry for thermal neutron beams through the addition of gadolinium. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 52(17), 5219 - 5230.