Table of Contents
Advances in Optics
Volume 2014, Article ID 974584, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/974584
Review Article

Rare Earth Doped Silica Optical Fibre Sensors for Dosimetry in Medical and Technical Applications

1Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Via Cozzi 55, 20125 Milano, Italy
2Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 16, 20133 Milano, Italy

Received 22 April 2014; Accepted 23 September 2014; Published 14 October 2014

Academic Editor: Adam S. Wyatt

Copyright © 2014 N. Chiodini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Radioluminescence optical fibre sensors are gaining importance since these devices are promising in several applications like high energy physics, particle tracking, real-time monitoring of radiation beams, and radioactive waste. Silica optical fibres play an important role thanks to their high radiation hardness. Moreover, rare earths may be incorporated to optimise the scintillation properties (emission spectrum, decay time) according to the particular application. This makes doped silica optical fibres a very versatile tool for the detection of ionizing radiation in many contexts. Among the fields of application of optical fibre sensors, radiation therapy represents a driving force for the research and development of new devices. In this review the recent progresses in the development of rare earth doped silica fibres for dosimetry in the medical field are described. After a general description of advantages and challenges for the use of optical fibre based dosimeter during radiation therapy treatment and diagnostic irradiations, the features of the incorporation of rare earths in the silica matrix in order to prepare radioluminescent optical fibre sensors are presented and discussed. In the last part of this paper, recent results obtained by using cerium, europium, and ytterbium doped silica optical fibres in radiation therapy applications are reviewed.