Description: The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has patented a fiber-optic-coupled radiation dosimeter based on NRL’s patented luminescent, copper-doped quartz. The NRL dosimeter is uniquely capable of measuring the dose delivered by a linear accelerator during external beam radiotherapy in near-real-time. The key to the technology is the doped quartz material. When exposed to radiation, the material produces a unique luminescence signal that is directly proportional to the radiation dose. The dosimeter consists of a 1-mm length of doped quartz material that is fiber-optic-coupled to a photodetector that is remotely located away from the radiation source. The speed, reproducibility and linearity of the dosimeter make it ideal for use in radiotherapy quality assurance, and eventually for real-time patient monitoring during complex radiotherapy procedures. NRL has also patented a dosimeter array that is based on the same copper-doped fused quartz material. The real time dosimeter array can be used to measure the dose distribution that is delivered to the patient and the information can be compared to the predicted dose pattern for conformity. The technology can provide improved patient protection and treatment outcomes by assuring the proper area is being irradiated at the prescribed dosage.

Advantages/Features Include:

  • In situ, real time measurement of dose rate and total accumulated dose
  • High sensitivity over a wide range of doses
  • Compact and low cost
  • Disposable or indefinitely reusable
  • No electromagnetic interference
  • Withstands exposure to moisture, high temperatures, and corrosive environments
  • Environmentally and biologically friendly
  • Easily manufactured in large quantities
  • Provides protection from human or system errors

Applications Include:

  • In vivo, real time, patient dose monitor for radiotherapy
  • Internal or external dosimeter for a range of treatment areas
  • Multiple types of radiation delivery systems


  • "Gated Fiber-Optic-Coupled Detector for In Vivo Real-Time Radiation Dosimetry," Applied Optics 43(8) (2004) 1663-1668.
  • "Characterization of a Fiber-Optic-Coupled Dadioluminescent detector for Application in the Mammography Energy Range,"Medical Physics 34(6) (2007) 2220-2227.

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