Optical Density Changes Of Gafchromic MD-55 Film Resulting From Laser Light Exposure At Wavelengths Of 671 Nm And 633 Nm

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Medical Physics


Laser-based scanners provide a sensitive means for measuring optical density (OD) of Gafchromic films. Such instruments were reviewed in a recent AAPM report (task group 55) which provided recommendations and information on OD measurements (effect of wavelength, temperature, etc.). The present article reports that variable rate scanners and spot densitometers using laser diodes (671 nm) and HeNe lasers (633 nm) can cause polymerization of Gafchromic film. The light induced polymerization depends on light power, wavelength, beam spot size, dwell time, and prior radiation dose of the film. Measurements were made with a custom built scanner that provided accurate control of light power, light polarization, dwell time, and film position in relation to the beam focus. The results demonstrate that lasers operating with powers of 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mW produce a nonlinear increase in OD of Gafchromic film. The measured change in OD after 1 min of exposure ranges from 0.150 to 0.244 for a laser diode operating at 0.5 and 1.5 mW, respectively. Tables are included that tabulate the increase in OD for laser power, dwell time, and prior dose. Laser light induced polymerization can have a significant impact on dosimetry measurements acquired using these laser-based systems. (C) 2000 American Association of Physicists in Medicine. [S0094-2405(00)03301-0].