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Sensors 2010, 10(11), 10484-10505; doi:10.3390/s101110484

Photo-Detectors for Time of Flight Positron Emission Tomography (ToF-PET)

1 Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS) and Department of Radiology, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive 94305, Stanford, CA 94305, USA 2 Departments of Electrical Engineering and Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 September 2010 / Revised: 27 October 2010 / Accepted: 30 October 2010 / Published: 18 November 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photodetectors and Imaging Technologies)


We present the most recent advances in photo-detector design employed in time of flight positron emission tomography (ToF-PET). PET is a molecular imaging modality that collects pairs of coincident (temporally correlated) annihilation photons emitted from the patient body. The annihilation photon detector typically comprises a scintillation crystal coupled to a fast photo-detector. ToF information provides better localization of the annihilation event along the line formed by each detector pair, resulting in an overall improvement in signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the reconstructed image. Apart from the demand for high luminosity and fast decay time of the scintillation crystal, proper design and selection of the photo-detector and methods for arrival time pick-off are a prerequisite for achieving excellent time resolution required for ToF-PET. We review the two types of photo-detectors used in ToF-PET: photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) and silicon photo-multipliers (SiPMs) with a special focus on SiPMs.
Keywords: positron emission tomography; time of flight; silicon photo-multipliers positron emission tomography; time of flight; silicon photo-multipliers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Spanoudaki, V.C.; Levin, C.S. Photo-Detectors for Time of Flight Positron Emission Tomography (ToF-PET). Sensors 2010, 10, 10484-10505.

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