A PET detector prototype based on digital SiPMs and GAGG scintillators

Phys Med Biol. 2015 Feb 21;60(4):1667-79. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/60/4/1667. Epub 2015 Jan 29.


Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPM) are interesting light sensors for Positron Emission Tomography (PET). The detector signal of analog SiPMs is the total charge of all fired cells. Energy and time information have to be determined with dedicated readout electronics. Philips Digital Photon Counting has developed a SiPM with added electronics on cell level delivering a digital value of the time stamp and number of fired cells. These so called Digital Photon Counters (DPC) are fully digital devices. In this study, the feasibility of using DPCs in combination with LYSO (Lutetium Yttrium Oxyorthosilicate) and GAGG (Gadolinium Aluminum Gallium Garnet) scintillators for PET is tested. Each DPC module has 64 channels with 3.2 × 3.8775 mm(2), comprising 3200 cells each. GAGG is a recently developed scintillator (Zeff = 54, 6.63 g cm(-3), 520 nm peak emission, 46 000 photons MeV(-1), 88 ns (92%) and 230 ns (8%) decay times, non-hygroscopic, chemically and mechanically stable). Individual crystals of 2 × 2 × 6 mm(3) were coupled onto each DPC pixel. LYSO coupled to the DPC results in a coincidence time resolution (CTR) of 171 ps FWHM and an energy resolution of 12.6% FWHM at 511 keV. Using GAGG, coincidence timing is 310 ps FWHM and energy resolution is 8.5% FWHM. A PET detector prototype with 2 DPCs equipped with a GAGG array matching the pixel size (3.2 × 3.8775 × 8 mm(3)) was assembled. To emulate a ring of 10 modules, objects are rotated in the field of view. CTR of the PET is 619 ps and energy resolution is 9.2% FWHM. The iterative MLEM reconstruction is based on system matrices calculated with an analytical detector response function model. A phantom with rods of different diameters filled with (18)F was used for tomographic tests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Lutetium / chemistry
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Photons
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / instrumentation*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Scintillation Counting / instrumentation*
  • Scintillation Counting / methods
  • Silicates / chemistry
  • Silicon / chemistry


  • Silicates
  • lutetium orthosilicate
  • Lutetium
  • Silicon