First optical observation of 10B-neutron capture reactions using a boron-added liquid scintillator for quality assurance in boron neutron capture therapy

Akihiro Nohtomi, Hideya Maeda, Naoya Sakamoto, Genichiro Wakabayashi, Takushi Takata, Yoshinori Sakurai

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10B-neutron capture was observed optically using a boron-added liquid scintillator. Trimethyl borate was dissolved in a commercially available liquid scintillator at natural boron concentrations of approximately 1 wt% and 0.25 wt%. The boron-added liquid scintillator was placed in a phantom quartz bottle and irradiated by thermal neutrons (~ 105 n/[cm2 s]) for 150, 300, and 600 s. The luminescence of the liquid scintillator was clearly observed using a cooled charge-coupled device (CCD) camera during irradiation. The luminance value recorded by the CCD camera was proportional to the duration of irradiation by thermal neutrons. The luminescence distribution showed reasonable agreement with that of energy deposition by Li and alpha particles from 10B-neutron capture reactions calculated via Monte Carlo simulations. When trimethyl borate was not dissolved in the liquid scintillator (0 wt% natural boron), no visible luminescence was observed even after 600 s of irradiation. These findings demonstrate that the observed luminance originates from the Li and alpha particles generated by 10B-neutron capture reactions. Consequently, the luminescence distribution is directly related to the boron dose of the liquid scintillator. To the best of our knowledge, direct experimental optical observations of boron dose distribution have not yet been reported. This novel technique will be useful for quality assurance in boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) because instantaneous neutron irradiation may be sufficient for the observing the intense neutron beam used in clinical BNCT (~ 109 n/[cm2 s]), and quick evaluation of the boron dose distribution is expected to be feasible.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRadiological physics and technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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